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Full text of "A son of Old Harry : a novel"

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THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 

RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 



iHUJOER 



CQLL£C?H.>.* 



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A SON OF OLD HARRY. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://www.archive.org/details/sonofoldharrynovOOtour 




^ \ .1 j' S:^\:...jm 



A SON OF OLD HARRY 



2, l^aml 



BY 



ALBION W. TOURGEE, 



Author of ^' A FooVs Errand,'''' etc. 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY WABREN B. DAVIS. 




NEW YOKK: 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, 

i8qi. 



COPTHIGHT, 1891, 
BY ROEEKT BONNER'S SONS. 



(All rights reserved.) 



l^on of OJ^Hc 





ioh IP. C(o O^c'e . , 



PROLOGUE. 

IT did not need the verdict of Science 
to assure me that I am doomed. Yet, I 
have just heard it announced. Calmly, qui- 
etly, without a quaver in his voice, one of the 
most eminent of his profession, has declared : 
" There is little, I may say no hope of recov- 
ery, nor any immediate prospect of death. 
You may live weeks, perhaps months, possi- 
bly years ; but you will never be — other than what you 
are." 

Other than what I am ! I expected this decision — 
knew in reason it must be so — yet the words fell upon 
my consciousness with a strange, numbing- sense of 
horror. 

" Other than what you are !" I repeated to myself, as 
I heard the firm, elastic steps echoing along the corridor 
of the great hotel outside my room when the physician 
went away. What am I .? It did not need knowledge 
such as his to determine. Half dead and half 
alive ! 



603283 



A Son of Old Harry. 



This body which has served me so well at need, and 
which, whatever else I may have done, I have never 
abused, has been cut in twain. One-half has already 
passed beyond the realm of consciousness. The inert 
limbs chain me to the couch. The nerves which traverse 
the yet unshrunken tissues, bring- only dim, vague mes- 
sages of need — dull, prickling appeals for aid. I live, 
but it is only a half-life. The brain is alert ; the soul 
alive ; the body slipping helplessly and hopelessly into 
the tomb. 

It is a strange ending of a strange life — a life strange 
enough without such tragedy— a life already curiously 
dismembered by Fate. Has it been one life — or two — 
or three ? Am I the lad who set out on life's journey 
half a century ago unmindful of the destiny that awaited 
him ? Did I grow to be what I was, or did some strange 
alembic transform my nature ? It is hard to tell. Per- 
haps in the earlier life was hid the fruitage of the later 
years — and the one was but an evolution from the 
others. 

What shall I do with this interval between life and 
death ? Review the past ? I cannot change it. Nay, I 
would not if I could. Not that I have always done the 
best or chosen always the wisest course. Perhaps I 
sometimes did the very worst. But the one act which 
colored all my after life, I committed purposely, with 
full knowledge of its import, and I have no desire to 
repent or to be forgiven. Whether it was right or 
wrong, I do not know ; worse yet, I hardly care. Nay, 
Iftoking backward at it from this vantage-ground of 
truth, my dying bed, I do not hesitate to say that I am 
glad I did the thing which made my name a syno- 
nym of shame, so bitter that Cain himself, even with 
the ineffaceable mark upon his brow, might well pity 
the man condemned to wear it. 



Prologtie. g 

It cut my life in twain even as my body is now cleft. 
What I had been, I was never to be again. The child 
my mother bore has already been dead more years than 
he lived. I have had two lives — two lives with a black, 
bottomless gulf between them. Yet the past has no 
terrors for me. As to the future, I do not know what it 
may have in store. If I am to live hereafter, and I hope 
I may, I trust my destiny with Him who shaped the 
past which He will judge. I do not fear His judgment. 
I have no need to prepare for death. I am ready for it 
— at least as ready as I ever shall be — as ready as I 
ever can be. 

No living mortal save myself knows who I really 
am, or even guesses what I was. Why should he ? I 
died a score of years ago — died and was inumed in 
infamy. A continent thrilled with horror at the obloquy 
of my act. My name is remembered only to be detested. 
Even I can hardly realize that it was once mine. My 
life seems bounded by the red horizon of my shame. 
He who lived beyond it, and bore that other name, was 
not I, but another. I never think of him but in the 
third person. Men blotted this name off the tablets of 
friendship ; women denied with angry vehemence all 
knowledge of him who bore it. It was erased from the 
roll of honor on which I had written it with the sword — 
from the records of the church ; from the scroll of fame 
— for 1 had made it famous in a way, by honorable 
endeavor. Even the brethren of the " Mystic Tie " dis- 
owned me. In all the world there was not one to offer 
me the hand of sympathy or speak my name with 
pity. 

Why should I not write the story of this strangely dis- 
jointed life. The future is denied me — why should I 
not recall the past ? I do not know that any one will 
care to read the tale. Indeed, I do not think I desire so 



lo A Son of Old Harry. 

much that it should be read as that it should be fairly- 
stated. I wish to tell the truth, and am not sure I would 
always do so, if I thought what I write would be read by 
many. 

I have often wondered that men should care to 
write about themselves, or that others should care to 
read what people think, or, rather, desire others to 
believe they think about themselves — their dreams, acts 
purposes and achievements. A man's testimony for or 
against himself is not apt to be reliable. I have 
always thought there was no greater liar that St. Augus- 
tine in his "Confessions." I read them when I was 
young. If I had believed them, they would have 
done me harm. In his desire to glorify his Redeemer, 
I think he slandered his Creator. His idea of evil was 
delusive, too. The sinful thought is not the full equiv- 
alent of wrongful purpose ripening into harmful 
act. 

Yet St. Augustine was probably as nearly truthful as 
any one can be who writes of himself in order that the 
world may read. 

I have read many so-called " Lives " of men who 
desired to extol their own purity, demonstrate or defend 
or explain the acts they feared the future might not esti- 
mate as they desired. I have no such motive. What I did 
cannot be extenuated. Why I did it is a matter of no 
consequence, I expect nothing of to-morrow and have no 
defence to make of yesterday. I could at the best only 
admit that of which I am accused, and affirm the very 
motive which was assigned. I do not regret it, and can 
derive no benefit from its confession. The world would 
demand either a show of repentance or a display of 
boastful depravity. I can offer neither. I would be glad 
if one who knew her might read the plain, unvarnished 
tale of my life that she might be judged aright. That is 



Prologue. 



II 



all I desire. So far as / am concerned, it is a matter of 
no moment. There is but one whose good opinion I 
would greatly care to retain ; and hers, of all persons in 
the world, I think would be least likely to survive a 
knowledge of the truth. It is strange that I should 
care for the judgment of one who wears a nurse's cap 
and apron, more than for all the world beside ; but it is 
true. So I will write and she shall read ; and whether 
she excuse or condemn, it shall be of none the less 
advantage to her. 




PART FIRST— JACK. 
CHAPTER I. 

A TIMELY PHENOMENON. 



'• \ 



It was forty years ago. A man of middle age, whose 
frame was wasted by disease, lay upon a bed opposite a 
bright wood-fire, by which sat a woman weeping bit- 
terly and wiping away her tears with the blue-checked 
cambric apron which she wore. A sturdy boy of twelve 
years stood near the foot of the bed, digging his chubby 
fists into his eyes and sobbing dolorously. A man 
younger than the invalid, but so closely resembling him 
as to leave no doubt that he was a brother, stood with 
flushed face at the head of the bed and looked angrily 
down at the offending youngster. The countenance of 
the sick man evinced great anxiety. The stubby beard 
gave his emaciated face a somber look. Jet black hair 
hung in a dark, almost forbidding mass across his sal- 
low forehead. Blue eyes shone with a tremulous, humid 
glow beneath the knotted, beetling brows. A full 
under-lip showed through the dark beard moving ner- 
vously. A red flannel shirt was visible beneath the 
coarse white cotton one with its unlaundried bosom. 

The hand that rested on the coverlet, though pale and 
shrunken, still bore the tan of accustomed toil, and the 
great joints and broad, stiff nails told that the sick man 



14 A Son of Old Harry. 

had been of powerful physique. Tufts of black hair 
showed upon the shrunken phalanges, revealing a 
ghastly story of the ravages of disease. His face was 
kindly but severe, and his voice trembled more from 
excitement than feebleness, as he said, sternly : 

" What is this I hear, my son ?" 

Seth Goodwin was a very sick man. His friends, 
relatives, and even the attending physician, said that he 
had not long to live. They told him so, too, with that 
reckless disregard for consequences which characterized 
a life in which preparation to die was considered a 
much more important fact than death itself. Lest he 
should perchance forget the fate impending over him, a 
preternatural gloom pervaded the room in which he 
lay, which was kept at a stifling temperature, with every 
breath of air excluded, lest Nature should refuse to sub- 
mit to the general verdict. Apprehension was written 
on the countenance of every one who approached the 
bedside. Many asked, in solemn tones, after his spir- 
itual welfare. Several insisted upon praying with him. 
The wife wept and tried to hide her tears. The 
brother, recently arrived, had put a stop to some of 
these things. He had insisted on cheerful faces, few 
callers and no prayers. The wife thought him cruel ; 
the neighbors called him wicked ; the doctor said he was 
sensible. He himself said that Seth had made his will, 
was ready to die, and probably would die ; but he 
shouldn't be worried to death nor lose any chance of 
life through fretting over what couldn't be helped. 

The sick man was only a common farmer, one of 
those sturdy men who, when the middle West was but 
half subdued, undertook to win competence by complet- 
ing the conquest the pioneers had begun. It was before 
the days of railroads and telegraphs. The highways of 
traffic lay along the great lakes, a himdred miles to the 



A Timely Phenomenon. 15 

northward, or up and down the great river, a hundred 
miles to the southward. "Wagons and boats were the 
sole means of transport. The stage-coach was the only 
carrier-pigeon. Roads had been hewn through the 
forest on the lines blazed by the government surveyors, 
until every State west of the Alleghanies must have 
looked to an aerial beholder like a great checker-board 
cut in the arboreal verdure. Here and there the dull- 
yellow roadways were flanked by green meadows and 
thrifty homesteads. Villages and towns, the ganglia of 
traffic and precursors of a new civilization, were clus- 
tered here and there. The forest, which represented the 
stored-up wealth of unnumbered centuries, was still 
accounted the enemy of the thrifty settler, who warred 
against it with fire and steel. The mighty walnuts, 
whitewoods, maples, beeches, oaks and elms which 
hedged in the clearings with a continuous living wall 
a hundred feet in height, even though of the finest 
grain and clearest fiber, were counted worthless to the 
owner. Men were still hired to destroy these monarchs 
of the forest. Only from their ashes, leached and boiled 
into crude forms of caustic soda — "potash," it was 
called — could a merchantable product be obtained by 
which the owner might get pay for the labor of " clear- 
ing." The value of the land depended upon the cost 
of cutting away the forest. The denser the growth and 
the richer the wood, the heavier the cost of removal. 

The land teemed with the promise of unexampled 
productiveness. Horses and cattle, sheep and swine 
were abundant ; but only the first were highly prized^ 
according to more recent standards of comparison. It 
was a tedious and costly matter to drive the cattle and 
swine a thousand miles to market. The fleece was 
more easily transported, and despite the disadvantages 
of production, wool became one of the first articles of 



1 6 A Son of Old Harry. 

commerce of this region. Grain and cheese were 
exported also, but the cost of carriage made the prices 
very low. 

With the irrepressible energy which marked the epoch 
in which he lived, Seth Goodwin and his young wife had 
set out a dozen years before to overcome these obstacles 
— to build a home and acquire a competence. They 
had succeeded well ; but before their plans had reached 
entire fruition, one of those great financial revulsions 
that sweep over the world had touched the products of 
toil and they had shrunk almost to nothing. His desire 
to increase his possessions had induced him to mortgage 
what he had already acquired to secure money to buy 
more. When the shrinkage in values came, he fought 
bravely, working with redoubled energy ; and for a time 
his hope for ultimate success . was not without reason- 
able basis. Whatever courage, integrity and good 
credit could do to avert disaster, that Seth Goodwin 
could be relied upon to accomplish ; but after a time 
disease came, and with it, very soon, despair. The sick 
man faced his doom with composure, but the thought 
that he would leave his wife and child unprovided for, 
filled both his waking moments and his dreams with 
agony. 

The boy had been a source of constant anxiety, espe- 
cially to his mother, ever since he had been able to find 
his way into danger. He had now been summoned to 
his father's bedside to be reproved for an offence which 
derived the greater part of its enormity from the condi- 
tion of his parent's health. Among the duties which 
this illness had imposed upon the lad was the care of a 
colt which from a suckling had been the pride of the 
boy's heart. It had been " broken," as the process of 
training the horse to work is barbarously called, the 
summer before. The boy had ridden him to plow corn. 



\ A Timely Phenomenon. i j 

and to and from the field, and since he had had him in 
his care, had ridden him, perhaps, oftener than was nec- 
essary, to the brook, which babbled along under the 
hill-side half a furlong from the barn, for water. This 
fact, not having come to the parents' knowledge, had 
never been forbdiden. He was a resolute lad and had 
shown a capacity to " look after things," as the mother 
had expressed it, which was a great comfort to the 
afflicted woman, and being reported to the father had 
won his warm approval. 

A fortnight before, the brother of the sick man had 
come to assist the wife in taking care of him. He was a 
somewhat gay young fellow whose pride centered in a 
mare noted throughout all the region as a " quarter- 
horse," of great speed. Since he had owned her she 
had done some notable work, but was not regarded as 
quite strong enough for the long distance races then in 
vogue. This mare the uncle had brought with him and 
she had occupied a stall next to the boy's colt, Pompey. 

Racing was at that time a popular amusement in that 
region. The tracks were often " straightaway," and the 
equipments of the sport very crude, but good time was 
often made, and the associations of the turf were far 
more reputable than they are to-day. Almost in front 
of Seth Goodwin's house stood a beech-tree, which was 
the beginning of what was known through all that 
region as " the measured mile," a level stretch along the 
State Road, which was a favorite place for trials of 
speed between the fancy nags of the neighborhood. In 
these trials, the boy had always manifested a lively 
interest, and was well aware of the reputation the brown 
mare belonging to his uncle Horace had earned in many 
a hard- won race as the " Queen " of that particular bit 
of turf. Her fame did not, however, in the least eclipse, 
in his opinion, the glory of his own pretty bay, in whose 



1 8 A Son of Old Harry. 

capacity to distance the " Queen " herself, the boy was 
a firm believer. This belief he did not hesitate to avow, 
and when some of his playmates made light of this 
theory, he promptly offered to put it to the test by a 
race between them along the accustomed track. 

It was not the season of races. A heavy snow had 
fallen, but the weather was mild, and it had been beaten 
down into two smooth parallel tracks, bordered on either 
side by a white flocculent cushion. There happened to 
be among the boys one who boasted of some experience 
as a jockey, who volunteered to ride the Queen, and 
young Goodwin declared his readiness to back his own 
favorite in a literal sense. It is not in boy nature to 
" take a dare," and words quickly grew into deeds. The 
horses were bridled. Cooper, the challenger, who was 
some years older than the colt's champion, insisted on 
having the only saddle in the bam. The boy made no 
objection. He had rarely ridden with a saddle. He 
merely strapped a sheep-skin on the back of the low, 
rangy bay colt, which stood beside the bony, flat-limbed 
mare on the great bam- floor during the controversy, 
and declared himself ready for the trial. 

The jockeys mounted and rode out, the colt leading 
the way. The other bo5's followed on foot. They went 
down the lane toward the brook, and took the cart-track 
up the hollow out of sight of the house, to the road, 
instead of going through the yard. Nobody gave any 
specific reason for taking this course, but the boys all 
knew it was to prevent their being interrupted and the 
race spoiled by any interference of the elders. The 
house was quite a distance from the road, and they 
trusted on escaping observation until too late to put an 
end to their sport. When they reached the road, they 
trotted up to the big beech ; a mark was made in the 
snow on each side of the track ; one of the boys was 



A Timely Phenomeno7i. 19 

named as starter ; the horses were turned back and 
brought carefully up, neck and neck, to the starting- 
place. 

" Go !" shouted Billy Wayland, the starter, throwing 
his cap in the air. 

" Go !" shouted the other boys at the top of their 
voices. 

Mrs, Seth Goodwin looked out of the kitchen window 
just in time to see two horses, with boyish figures on 
their backs, flash across her field of vision. A swift 
intuition told her who they were, and she sank into a 
chair with a low, shuddering moan. She was a weak, 
nervous woman, whose reliance had been in her hus- 
band's magnificent strength. Now that this support 
was likely to be removed, she was already looking for- 
ward to a widowhood in which the son, so wonderfully 
like his father in self-reliance, should be her chief 
dependence. If there was one thing that she feared 
more than another, it was a horse. From the first, the 
boy's fondness for the colt had filled her with apprehen- 
sion. A thousand times she had in fancy seen him 
bitten, kicked, torn, mangled by the spirited beast he 
would persist in fondling. Now she beheld him borne 
headlong to his doom on the back of this same winged 
terror. 

There was a shriek from the group of boys by the 
roadside — an unmistakable cry of alarm. She saw them 
gazing in terror along the level vista of the "measured 
mile." There were more shouts. Some ran in one 
direction and some in another. She heard louder, more 
terrified cries. She was sure one voice said : " He's 
down ! He's killed !" She did not stop to ask who was 
slain. Her heart told her. She was not only to be a 
widow but childless ! The snow grew red — bloody red 
— then yellow and green to her dazed vision. The room 



20 A Son of Old Harry. 

whirled round and round as she sank to the floor in a 
dead faint. Here her brother-in-law found her when^ 
startled by the noise of her fall, he came from the sick- 
room to inquire its cause. Taking her in his arms, he 
laid her on the bed in an adjoining room. By that time 
more than one of the frightened boys were clamoring at 
the door. 

It did not take many inquiries to learn the facts. 
Even his heart stood still with fear at the thought of 
two unpracticed boys starting out to ride a race with a 
a hard-bitted flyer and a half-broken colt. He was in 
the road in an instant, snatching off his coat as he went, 
clenching his hands, throwing out his chest and shutting 
his lips close as a man must who is going to take a long 
run. Away up the road he could see two moving spots 
— or was there only one ? He did not stop to question. 
A quarter of a mile away there was a black heap by the 
roadside. It was alive and audible ; there was no doubt 
about that. Two of the boys reached it about the time 
he struck the roadway. They raised it into a sitting 
posture. The clamor grew louder. 

" I never thought the whelp would make such a fuss 
as that," said the runner to himself, disgustedly, as he 
drew near. " Ah, it's not Jack ! What's the matter ?" 
he asked, pausing and shaking the boy by the collar as 
he spoke. " Stop your yelling, Sam Cooper, and tell me 
what's the matter !" 

" Oh, I'm killed ! I shall die ! I know I shall !" 
howled the frightened boy. 

The questioner soon found that however frightened 
the lad might be, the deep snow had saved him from 
serious injury. All he could learn about his nephew 
was that he was " sure to be killed ;" a result he thought 
not unlikely, but man-like consoled himself with the 
contemptuous remark : 



A Timely Phenomenon. ii 

" If he is he won't make such an infernal fuss about 
it." 

Having thus expressed himself, Uncle Horace resumed, 
with the pertinacity peculiar to the Goodwins, the 
apparently hopeless pursuit of the runaway. 

It was an hour later when he returned. He was rid- 
ing the Queen, whose head drooped down as she swung 
it back and forth in a long fox-walk, while the steam 
rose from her heaving flanks, and clouds of vapor poured 
from her distended nostrils. He held the colt's rein, 
while a worn switch, which he carried in his right hand, 
seemed a sufficient explanation of the lachrymose con- 
dition of the lad on the colt's back. Both horses were 
evidently tired, as was natural after a two-mile heat in 
the snow, for they had passed the limit and only been 
stopped when nearly a mile beyond. 

The colt's condition did not escape the horseman's 
eye as he put the animals in the stable and blanketed 
them carefully lest they should take cold. He was 
drenched with sweat by his unaccustomed effort, but not 
in the least blown, and his steaming flanks throbbed 
evenly and steadily, as if he had merely had a fling in 
the pasture, instead of trying conclusions with the best 
horse in that region. When the uncle had attended to 
the horses he hooked his fingers in the boy's collar and 
led him to the house. Seeing her child safe, the mother 
had already informed the father of the main facts in the 
case. After a short consultation with his brother, the 
lad was called in. His mother followed, taking her 
station on the hearth and weeping as if her heart would 
break — whether from joy or sorrow, it would be hard to 
tell. 

" What is this you have been doing, Hubert ?" repeated 
-the invalid, tremulously. 

The boy's name was John Hubert. His mother gen- 



2 2 A Son of Old Harjy. 

erally spoke of him as John ; his father always addressed 
him as Hubert ; his uncle and playmates called him 
Jack, 

" I didn't — mean — no harm," sobbed the boy as he 
industriously rolled his fists in and out against his eyes, 
as if seriously contemplating the removal of the offend- 
ing members. 

" You knew it was wrong ?" 

" I — I — s'pose so." 

" Then, why did you do it ?" 

" Well, you see, sir — Sam Cooper — he — he — we was 
all in the bam and talking about — about Pomp and — 
and the Queen, sir — that is, the boys was talking about 
old Queen, and — and I told 'em Pomp was a better 
horse'n she'd ever been ; and he is, too." 

" Pompey is a good colt, but he has never run a race ; 
so you should not have said that. It is not nice to 
brag." 

" It wasn't any bragging, father ; I was sure of it," 
said the lad, stoutly. 

" But you had never seen him run." 

" Oh yes, I had," answered the boy, quite cheerfully ; 
" and rode him, too." 

" When and where ?" demanded the father, sternly. 

" Oh, lots of times ; last fall, after the races." ' 

" My son, answer me : Have you ever ridden him on 
the measured mile before .?" 

" Yes, sir," answered the lad, bowing his head and 
beginning to sob again. 

" How was it that you were never seen before ?" 

" It — it was at night." 

" At night ! Didn't you know you were not old 
enough to do such things.?". 

" But I went after the doctor at night when you were 
first taken sick," sobbed the boy. 



A .Timely Phenomenon. 23 

"So you did," said the father, softening-. 

" And you said that was right, though I didn't let you 
know about it." 

" That's a fact, my son — " 

*' And Doctor Kelsey said if he had waited to walk, it 
would have been too late," interrupted the mother, 
who could not help interceding for the child. 

" But you know I do not approve of horse-racing," 
continued the father, changing his ground. " It is not 
a creditable business for any one to engage in." 

" Uncle Horace races," protested the boy. 

"You see, now," said the sick man, reproachfully, 
turning to his brother, " what your example is doing. 
The boy might have been killed." 

" Well, he wasn't ; and I don't think he's likely to be, 
judging from what I saw of his riding." 

" Oh, it's no trouble to ride Pomp," exclaimed the boy, 
eagerly. 

" But Sam Cooper was badly hurt, I hear, and he is 
considerably older than you, Hubert." 

"He would have been all right, too, if he had just 
stuck on — but he got scared — that's what was the mat- 
ter with him. You see, the old mare had the best of the 
send-ofE — 'cause she was used to it, I guess. But when 
Pomp see she was trying to get away from him, he laid 
down to it and shut the light out between 'em almost 
as if she was standing still. Of course, she didn't like 
that, and just let out the best she had. She went so 
fast, I guess it scared Sam, for he kind of slid off into 
the snow, and began to holler ; but the old mare kept 
right on. 'Twasn't any use, though," continued the 
excited lad ; " Pomp was on her quarter when we got 
to the bars of No. 7, and 'fore we'd got to the three-quar- 
ter maple, he was a neck ahead. Queen was a-doin' her 
best, too, and I didn't touch the switch to Pompey, but 



24 A Son of Old Harry. 

by the time we got to the mile post, he was — well — quite 
a few lengths ahead — three or four — anyhow," said the 
boy, doggedly, looking up at his uncle. 

" My son !" said the father sternly. 

" It's so, father. Do you think I'd tell a lie ?" asked 
the boy, choking back the tears. 

" Why didn't you stop there ?" asked the uncle, 

" I did try to, and I could have stopped Pomp easy 
enough, but every time I'd pull him up, old Queen 
would try to rush by." 

" Just like her," muttered Horace to himself, appre- 
ciatively. " I'd risk the old girl to run a race all by 
herself, and win it, too, if it was in the cards for her to 
do so." 

** My son, you cannot expect any one to believe you 
when you claim to have outrun the swiftest horse in the 
country with a snip of a colt." 

*' There's a good bit of a horse in that colt's hide, 
Seth," interposed the uncle. 

"I did, father ; 1 did, truly I" exclaimed the boy, with, 
passionate intensity. " And he can do it again any day 
— the best she ever see. I tell you, father, you don't 
know what a colt he is. Just let me try it. Uncle 
Horace may ride Queen, too, and if Pomp don t beat her, 
he can whip me all the way back just as he did to-day," 
said the boy, resentfully. 

" Your uncle did exactly right.'' 

" I wasn't to blame for the colt being smarter than his 
old mare," protested the boy, sullenly. 

This was too much. The uncle laughed outright ; 
the mother chuckled under the apron she still held to 
her eyes, and even the father smiled. 

"Hubert," said the latter, after a moment. "Can you 
think of nothing but horses ?" 

" I — I don't know," answered the boy, rolling up the 



A Timely Pheno7nenoii. 25 

skirts of his butternut " warmus " with uneasy hands. 
"I s'poseso." 

"Come here," said the father, tenderly. The boy 
slipped forward and laid his hand in the great, gaunt 
palm that opened to receive it. " You know your father 
may not live very long, and then your mother will have 
no one but you to care for her. It will be a hard thing 
for a boy, and you must grow to be a man very soon. 
Now, I want you to promise to take good care of your 
mother." 

" Oh, I'll do it ! I'll do it !" exclaimed the lad weep- 
iny passionately, " Don't be troubled a bit ; I'll take 
care of her, and you, too, if you'll just live and let me 
have Pomp to do it with. I tell you, father, I could 
make a thousand dollars out of him next summer, just 
as easy as not. How much has Uncle Horace made on 
Queen, and she ain't nowhere beside the colt ?" 

There was no attempt to suppress the laughter now\ 
The incorrigible boy had disarmed reproof. The uncle 
laughed as loud as he dared in the sick-room, the 
mother whirled her chair quickly round, and catching 
the boy to her breast, sobbed and laughed on his 
shoulder. The father laughed feebly, too, until the 
sweat started on his forehead and he motioned toward 
the stand on the other side of the bed, on which stood 
a blue bowl containing a cooling draught. The boy 
caught the gesture first, and bringing the bowl, held it 
carefully to his father's lips. When the invalid had 
drank and the bowl had been replaced, he called the lad 
to him, and putting his hand on his shoulder, said : 

" You are a good boy, Hubert, and I hope you will 
think of something beside horses, when the time comes. 
I think I can trust you, and I want you to know that I 
do trust you never to do an }i;hing unmanly, that will give 
sorrow to your mother or bring discredit on your name. 



26 A Son of Old Harry. 

But I want you to promise me that if I should die, you 
will not worry your mother by running horses or get- 
ting into needless danger. "Will you do it T* 

" Oh, you know I will, father — I will do — anything — 
if you only won't die !" 

" Life and death are of God, my son," said the father 
solemnly. " When he calls I must answer. Will you 
make it easy for me by promising not to run a race or 
ride an unbroken horse until you are eighteen years 
old ?" 

" But, father — " pleaded the lad, desperately. 

" I want to be sure that your mother will not be left 
alone in the world, my child." 

The promise was given ; the weeping lad kissed the 
parched lips, and the mother led him sobbing from the 
room. The invalid sank down wearily, and the brother 
carefully arranged the pillows and clothing of the bed. 

" Johnnie says he wants to ask you just one question," 
said the mother, re-entering the room after a few min- 
utes, with the boy by her side. " He seemed so anxious I 
could not refuse him." 

" Well, what is it ?" asked the sick man, in a feeble 
voice. 

" If — if — you shouldn't die, you can take care of 
mother, can't you ?" 

" I trust I may be able to do so," answered the father, 
with difficulty repressing a smile. 

"Then — what I promised," sobbed the lad, " ain't no 
promise, if — if you don't die, T s'pose ?" 

There was a choking sound at the head of the bed as 
Uncle Horace caught a corner of the pillow against 
which the sick man leaned and stuffed it in his mouth. 

" O dear !" sighed the father, petulantly. "Yes, yes 
— if I get well you may ride all the time. Seems as if 
you could think of nothing but horses and races." 



A Timely PJienoinenon. 27 

" It ain't that, father," exclaimed the boy, as he ran 
forward and buried his face in the bed-clothes ; " but I 
should hate to think you hadn't as much confidence in 
me as other folks have in their boys. I wouldn't mind 
not riding — not so very much, that is — but I'd hate to 
own that you wouldn't let me ride at all." 

The father's face lightened, and his hand stole out 
and rested on the bowed head. 

" You are a good boy, Hubert, and it gives me great 
comfort to know that you think of others instead of 
yourself. Perhaps I was over-anxious." 

" I would rather never see ahorse again than have you 
so troubled about me !" exclaimed the boy. 

" I've been talking with him, Seth," said the wife, 
hesitantly, " about — about the colt, and I would like to 
tell you what his idea is. I know you're tired, but I'm 
sure 'twould do you good just to know how far ahead 
the boy's been looking, and how much he's been thinking 
about the very things that are troubling you. If the 
worst comes, I'm sure you'd feel better to know about 
it." 

The good woman was not afraid of her husband in the 
sense of having any apprehension as to his kindliness of 
heart. Seth Goodwin was a model husband, as he was 
a model man in all things that go to make up a good 
neighbor and a good citizen ; but he was masterful and 
strong, and felt himself quite competent to do the think- 
ing for all those in whom he was interested. This 
characteristic had been emphasized by his illness, and 
his wife hesitated to offer a suggestion which might con- 
flict with his imperious will and so prove deleterious to 
the welfare of the invalid. It was only as a result of 
the lad's persistence, who was as self-willed as his father, 
that she had ventured to prefer so extraordinary a 
request. 



28 A Soil of Old Harry. 

" 1 think you ought to hear it, Seth ; I really do," the 
mother repeated. 

** He's pretty tired," said the brother, after telegraph- 
ing in vain from his place at the head of the bed for 
her to refrain from troubling the invalid further. 

** I'll hear it," said the elder, irritably, resenting the 
implication of weakness. 

" Well, you see," continued the mother, smoothing 
out her apron and looking deprecatingly at her hus- 
band, " Johnny thinks he is — well — something remark- 
able — the colt, I mean." 

" Boys always think their own things better than 
anybody else ever had." 

"But he's hunted up the colt's pedigree, Seth," 
insisted the wife, desperately ; " and you know you 
said yourself that the dam, old Fanny, was the most 
remarkable horse you ever owned," 

" I didn't mean as a racer." 

" But there wasn't anything in these parts that could 
get away from her in her prime, all the same," inter- 
posed the brother, emphatically. 

" I s'pose you know," was the peevish rejoinder. 

" I do that," was the unabashed reply. " I won more 
dollars on her when we first came here, than I made 
by day's work." 

'* That is no credit to you, Horace," said the sick 
man, reprovingly. 

" I s'pose not," answered the brother, jocosely ; " but 
it is to her foal ; and you must remember there's not 
many people hereabouts that wouldn't take Hod Good- 
win's opinion about a horse sooner than they would his 
brother's. He ain't half as good, but he knows a horse, 
don't you see." 

" Well, what's all this got to do with the boy ? I 
hope you don't want him to be a horse-jockey, Susan ?" 



. / Timely Phejiontenon. 29 

" He says the colt is very fast, and has what he calls 
* bottom,' " said the mother. 

" Well, suppose he has ?" 

" Why, don't you see, father," protested the boy, lift- 
ing his head quickly and speaking hurriedly, as if fear- 
ful that he might not be allowed to finish his remarks, 
" if he's handled right he'll pay off every cent of the 
mortgage, and you needn't trouble another bit about it, 
but just lie still and get well." 

'* That 's sense, anyhow," rejoined Horace, emphat- 
ically. 

" I would rather my debts should never be paid than 
be discharged by betting on a horse-race or any other 
sort of gambling," said the father, sternly. 

" Knew he'd say that !" muttered Horace, shaking 
his head. " I'd have helped him out long ago ; could 
have done it just as easy as not, but he wouldn't have 
my money." 

*' You didn't have any," said the sick man, impa- 
tiently. 

" But I could have gotten it, and you knew I could." 

" By risking what you had ?" 

" Of course. You know I don't bet except to get a 
little spending money, and now and then to buy a new 
horse, but I'd have strained my luck for you any time, 
and will now, if you'll let me." 

" You are very kind, Horace, but — " 

" But John says it isn't necessary to do any betting 
at all — of course he knows you wouldn't allow that. He 
says if you'll let him and Uncle Horace handle the 
colt, he'll sell for more'n the mortgage amounts to, 
long before Kincaid can turn us out," interrupted the 
wife. 

" Now, that's an idea worth having," said the brother- 
in-law, heartily. " Kincaid can't get you off the place 



30 A Son of Old Haj'ry. 

before October, anyhow ; you told me that yourself ; 
and if Jack's right about the colt outsteppin' the Queen, 
there's big money in him if he's handled, and I'm the 
one to do it. Seth, if you don't take back all the scold- 
ing you've given the boy over this matter, and thank 
God for giving you such a son, you ain't the man I take 
you to be — that's all. He may not be as careful about 
his pronouns and adverbs as you'd like to have him, but 
you just let him alone and he'll steer things. Hanged 
if I wouldn't marry myself if I could have a boy like 
him. You can go to sleep, now. Providence has taken 
care of your affairs in spite of your thinking it couldn't 
be done without your help. All you've got to do is to 
get well and enjoy your good luck. Kiss the boy now 
and let him clear out. You must go to sleep." 

" rd like some broth first," said the invalid, with a 
look of relief on his face that had not been there for 
weeks. 

" Good for you !" exclaimed the brother. " How long 
since he's asked for anything to eat before, Susan? 
Hurry it up before he changes his mind. And Jack, 
you can ride the colt as much as you're a mind to ; 
didn't I hear you say so, Seth ?" 

" If he'll only be careful," answered the father, humor- 
ing his brother's conceit. 

" Oh, I'll be careful, father — I won't ever get on a 
horse without thinking of you — I won't, truly." 

The boy leaned over and kissed his father tenderly. 

" And see here, sir," said the uncle, taking the lad by 
the coat-collar, " I'm going to lick you every day until 
your father gets well !" 

" You may, you may, Uncle Horace ; I won't mind — 
if I may ride the colt," was the gleeful response. 

" All right ; now go and rub down those horses and 



Conjidejice Born of Knowledge. 31 

give them a feed. I'll come and take another look at 
the colt after awhile." 

A strange sense of peace and hope settled down upon 
the Goodwin household that night. The black giant 
Despair fled away, and sweet sleep rested upon the long- 
troubled home. 

Seth Goodwin's illness " took a turn" that day, so the 
neighbors said, and from that time he began to mend. 



CHAPTER II. 



CONFIDENCE BORN OF KNOWLEDGE. 

Why Seth Goodwin began to improve in health 
just when he did was almost as great a puzzle to his 
physician as why he had not done so before. The 
simple fact was that he had begun to hope. He had 
waked out of the fever which his stalwart frame had so 
long resisted, with the one thought still dominant in his 
mind which had been uppermost when he lost conscious- 
ness, that on the first day of January he must pay one 
thousand dollars, or his bond would be forfeited and his 
creditor might sell as soon as he could get judgment. 
The property covered by the mortgage was really 
worth several times the amount of his debt ; but in the 
existing condition of affairs it was doubtful if the whole 
farm would bring the necessary sum, though it was only 
a moiety of the price he had agreed to pay for half of it. 
Values had shrunk terribly, and he had already sold 
everything that could be spared, to meet a payment 
due six months before. His son's words had shown 



A Son of Old Harry. 



a possible way of escape, which, slender as it seemed 
to the brother, was sufficient to lighten his despair. 

As is usual with persons affected with morbid fancies, 
he went at once to the other extreme. As hitherto he 
had no hope, he had now no doubt. He accepted with- 
out hesitation the boy's notion that the colt would pull 
him out of all his difficulties. As it was deemed impor- 
tant to keep up his spirits, no one questioned or contra- 
dicted what he said about the matter. The result was 
that when he was at length able to leave his bed, he was 
possessed with a hopefulness as unreasonable as his for- 
mer depression. He was very weak, however, and it 
was decided that Horace should remain to assist, or, 
more properly, carry on the spring's work, to facilitate 
which the Queen and the colt were to constitute a sup- 
plemental team. After that was over, the brother was 
to take such steps as might seem desirable in order to 
realize upon the colt from the sale of which so much was 
expected. How this was to be accomplished, Seth 
Goodwin seemed to have no more idea than he had 
doubt as to the result. Forbidden by the physcian's 
orders from taking any part in the labors of the farm, 
he surrendered everything into his brother's hand with 
a calm confidence in the outcome, which, though at 
curious variance with his previous character, was the 
result of the same deep religious fervor which had recon- 
ciled him to the thought of death, even when he 
could foresee only want and difficulty for those he loved. 
His hope was of God, as well as his submission. As he 
had trusted Him in his darkest hours, so he praised Him 
now in his brighter moments. 

To his family, this change in the father's character 
was very puzzling. He had always been a kind husband 
and loving parent, but anxious, severe and irritable. 
Every day he had discounted to-morrow's trouble, and 



ConJide7iee Born of Knowledge. '}^2i 

sought to anticipate to-morrow's burdens. Striving 
always for the best, he had feared always the worst. 
Now, however, he was light-hearted, confident, careless. 
The boy, whose love for his father had before been 
tinged with fear, found him now the pleasantest of com- 
panions ; and his wife, who had regarded him with 
something of awe, both from his riper years and some- 
what stern and serious character, began to give way to 
her natural light-heartedness as she saw how her gayety 
harmonized with his inclination. 

To his neighbors the change was so startling that one 
and all attributed it to preternatural causes. His deep 
religious character and the composure he had manifested 
in the face of death, gave some color to this hypothesis, 
and it was soon noised abroad that Seth Goodwin had 
experienced " sanctification," and was " delivered for- 
ever from the power of sin." It is doubtful if this idea 
had occurred to him until after it was suggested ; but 
it was eagerly accepted, and belief in its verity served 
very greatly to confirm the mental composure on which 
it was based. If he did not quite believe that sin was 
impossible with him, he for the first time accepted the 
idea that his purposes and inclinations were right, and 
that what he desired to do could not in itself be wrong. 

All this, his brother, careless and worldly-minded, was 
unable to comprehend, and it was with unfeigned aston- 
ishment that he found him entering heartily into his own 
plans for the colt, on whose qualities the hope of the 
future seemed to depend. The invalid made frequent 
allusions to the subject, and sometimes rebuked his 
brother for seeming apathy in regard to it ; but Horace 
skilfully avoided any extended consideration of the mat- 
ter until the spring's work upon the farm was well 
advanced and his brother's health so far restored that 
he was able to sit up the greater portion of the day. 



34 A Son of Old Harry. 

His recovery was very slow, if recovery it was, and the 
once busy, anxious man watched the springtime pass 
away with a strange absence of apprehension for the 
future, and without manifesting any special desire either 
to assist or direct the work which was going on about 
him. 

" What are your plans about the colt, Seth ?" he finally 
asked one afternoon when the planting was over and a 
warm April shower had just come in time to start the 
waiting seeds. It had cleared away and the first rain- 
bow of the season was painted on the retreating storm- 
cloud in the eastern sky by the level rays of the setting 
sun. Seth Goodwin sat in a great splint-bottom rocker 
watching the pictured clouds, from the window of the 
room which he had occupied during his illness. His 
face had lighted up as if the effulgence of the bow of 
promise were reflected in it. Horace sat near him, in 
his shirt-sleeves, just as he had come scurrying in from 
the field to avoid the rain. He had watched his brother 
narrowly during the storm and seemed depressed rather 
than cheered by the quiet contentedness of his man- 
ner. 

" Oh, you just put him in shape, Horace, and take 
him East and sell him. There isn't anybody else can do 
as well with him as you. He's gained every day he's 
been at work, and is looking splendidly now." 

Seth Goodwin did not know the care that had been 
taken not to over-work or even weary the animal on 
whose value so much depended. Horace had allowed 
no one else to touch the reins ; and in addition to giv- 
ing this team the lightest work, had taken the precau- 
tion to shift the pivot of the doubletree well over 
toward the end to which the mare was attached, thus 
lightening the colt's load. The colt had never been 
allowed to get tired or discouraged, but had had plenty 



Confidence Boi'u of Knozvlcdge. 35 

of good, toughening exercise. When it was over, he 
was rather low in flesh , but his tendons were like steel 
and his coat as soft and shining as if he had been under 
the trainer's hand. 

In the meantime, Horace had studied him very care- 
fully. To the careless reader such prolonged scrutiny 
ma}'-, no doubt, seem to have been unnecessary. There 
is a general impression that certain men are gifted with 
an instinctive power to determine at a glance the quali- 
ties and capacity of a horse ; but every true lover of the 
animal knows that one might just as well attempt to 
select a lyric poet by inspection, as a successful race- 
horse. So many qualities are essential to a well- 
founded hope, so many mental as -well as physical attri- 
butes to be considered, that the experienced horseman 
fully understands that only he who has " summered 
and wintered with a horse," studying his every move- 
ment, watching the play of his muscles, the action of 
his limbs, the beat of his pulse, the swell of his nostrils, 
his digestion, endurance, and especially his temper, is 
able to give a reliable opinion, not only as to what he is 
able to do, but what he is likely to be willing to do 
under given conditions. It was not without good rea- 
sons, therefore, that Horace Goodwin followed the colt 
day after day in the furrow. He knew very well that 
there is no place where one learns so thoroughly the 
real qualities of a horse as by constant observation of 
him while engaged in some regular work. In that 
manner alone can one become entirely familiar with 
his physical qualities, learn what reliance is to be placed 
on his power of endurance, and especially whether he be 
endowed with that courage which, while submitting to 
needed restraint, is of that fine quality which bids 
defiance to fatigue, and when he has done his seeming 
best, responds with willingness to the demand for more. 



36 A Soil of Old Harry. 

Horace Goodwin had determined to attempt a bold 
stroke, if his observations confirmed his nephew's judg- 
ment of the colt's qualities. While he did not rely upon 
the boy's opinion, he did not neglect the fact that the 
lad, though without extensive knowledge of horses, had 
a natural aptitude for horsemanship, and, by a careful 
study of his favorite, had arrived at an estimate of his 
capabilities, which was by no means to be lightly dis- 
carded. His own reputation as a horseman demanded, 
however, that this opinion should be confirmed by his 
own carefully matured judgment. 

This young man was by nature a gambler. He 
delighted in great risks. He loved to do unexpected 
and surprising things. While not averse to labor, the 
drudgery of slow accumulation was intensely distasteful 
to him. Fond as he was of the horse, he had an 
ineradicable aversion for farm-life. He could endure 
any sort of privation in order to accomplish some start- 
ling result, but the almost inappreciable gain resulting 
from daily application was irksome beyond expression 
to him. He was willing to stake everything he had 
upon a single stroke, but he would not do it without 
full comprehension of the chances for and against suc- 
cess. Though a gambler by nature, he was something 
more than a mere dice-thrower. He delighted to base 
his hope upon knowledge, and had in him much of the 
material of which the successful speculator is made. 

In the present case he had many incentives to 
caution. He had fully determined to effect his 
brother's release from the incubus of debt in one way 
or another. He had become satisfied that the mare. 
Queen, was possessed of trotting qualities of rare excel- 
lence, and as this sport had lately sprung into special 
favor at the East, he had intended to train her carefully 
and enter her as an unknown in some of the races where 



Confidence Born of Knowledge, 37 

the odds would be tremendously in her favor. He 
counted upon borrowing enough to take advantage of 
these conditions, and hoped that what he might win in 
stakes and wagers, supplemented, if need be, by the 
sale of the mare, would enable him to pay oflE his 
brother's bond before he could be dispossessed by legal 
process. It was not a very large sum, but a horse 
worth a thousand dollars was then very rare. 

The hope of discovering a winner was not so wild as 
it seemed. The trotting horse had not then become a 
scientific fact. Prodigies were still numerous upon the 
trotting turf. Each year developed some new won- 
der, and it was hardly an unusual thing to find the last 
year's favorite superseded by one which twelve months 
before had been hitched to plow or cart. Horace Good- 
win had watched the principal events of the previous 
season, and felt that he could safely rely upon the 
Queen to give a good account of herself with such com- 
petitors. She was in her prime, sound as a dollar, 
toughened by exertion, familiar with the track, and 
only needed, as he thought, to have the trotting-gait she 
had always preferred developed and confirmed to show 
not only speed but the ability to win races. 

The suggestion in regard to the colt had changed his 
plan by adding to it another possible chance for success, 
as well as another possible opportunity to enhance his 
renown as a horseman. Next to the relief of his 
brother's necessity, he counted the pleasure of a 
triumph on the turf. To have two strings to his bow 
and be the possessor of two " surprises " at the same 
time was a rapture he had never dreamed of before. 
The fact that he found himself dreaming of it now 
rendered him distrustful and uneasy rather than con- 
fident. He began to think that his imagination had 
run away with his judgment. 



38 A Son of Old Harry. 

His study of the colt had been unusually careful, 
therefore, and his disinclination to pronounce an opinion 
upon his merits had proceeded not only from considera- 
tion for his brother's interests, but also from a keen 
desire to avoid a decision that would reflect discredit 
upon himself. He felt that his reputation as a horse- 
man was at stake, and he would almost rather have 
abandoned the hope of relieving his brother than have 
suffered that to be tarnished. He understood how easy 
it is to be mistaken in regard to an untried horse, and 
determined not to err from any lack of study of the 
subject. Twice, after a day or two of rest, he had tested 
the colt's speed at night along the *' measured mile." 
Once the boy had ridden him and the uncle had ridden 
the mare ; the other time he had gone out alone, lightly 
clad, with spurred heels and a rawhide at his wrist, and 
ridden the colt at speed along the "measured mile." 
It was a race against time. He had no watch to tell 
the seconds, but he could make a good guess at com- 
parative speed. Besides that, he wanted to feel how 
the colt would run under a heavy weight, so as to be 
able to judge of his prowess, and to test for himself his 
courage, to decide whether he would endure pressure, 
and in the climax of his effort respond to an appeal for 
more. When he had reached the end of the course he 
dismounted, quickly applied his ear to the colt's chest, 
counted the heart-beats, held the nostrils a moment, 
and then listened at the swelling flank ; stood off and 
watched him, as, with outstretched neck and observing 
eye, he recovered from his effort with deep, even sus- 
pirations. Then he felt of each leg, one after the other ; 
stood in front of the animal and looked him over sharply, 
while the colt's bright eyes watched curiously his own 
movements. Having finished his observations, he 
threw the bridle over his arm and walked briskly home, 



Confidence Boj^n of Knowledge. 39 

nodding his head, now and then snapping his fingers at 
his thoughts. He did not trust himself to put them 
into words by whispering them even to himself, and the 
colt probably wondered why Mr. Horace Goodwin was 
so considerate as to walk back to the stable, instead of 
riding. 

" Oh, I can put him in condition easy enough," said 
Horace, replying to his brother's suggestion ; " but he 
must — you see — well, I suppose you know his value 
depends on what he can do — how fast he can go." 

"Of course," answered the other, simply. Horace 
looked into his brother's peaceful face in unaffected 
surprise. 

" And you understand that what he can do can only 
be determined — in one way ?" 

" By a race, you mean ?" 

"Certainly." 

" You might arrange one with the Queen." 

The younger brother shook his head in emphatic 
amazement at his brother's innocence. 

" No use," he said, shortly. " Everybody would say 
it was a put-up job, and it would hurt both of them. 
To make a reputation, the colt's got to run against 
something that has a reputation and is run to beat ; and 
he must either win or come so near winning that any 
one can see he ought to have won. You see, it isn't so 
much the question what he can do as what he will do on 
the track against another that makes a horse worth 
dollars instead of dimes." 

" So I suppose." 

"You don't object to my making a match for him, 
then ?" 

" I cannot countenance betting," answered the other, 
firmly. 



40 A Son of Old Harry. 

" But you have no objection to his running, if you are 
not required to back him?" 

" I can hardly say I have no objection, Horace," said 
the other, gravely ; " but if the Lord is kind enough to 
lift me out of trouble by sending me an exceptionally 
valuable beast, I do not think I have any right to scorn 
His bounty by refusing to allow an opportunity to show 
his value," 

" Exactly. Well, that's sensible, anyhow," replied 
Horace, with an intonation of relief. 

" I wouldn't want to keep on running him, but, just 
to find out what's in him, I think I've a right — " 

" Of course you have," interrupted Horace. He was 
afraid the other would see the weakness of his own 
casuistry and revoke the leave he had granted. He 
need not have had any such apprehension. Seth Good- 
win had decided that it was not sinful for him to take 
this course. This decision had made him happy, and 
he had come to test questions of right and wrong more 
by the " inner light " than by any established ethical rule. 
It may have been delusive, but it was a very comfort- 
able way of looking at a troublesome question. 

" What do you think of the colt, anj^how, Horace ?" 
asked the owner, with some show of uneasiness. 

" He's a good deal of a horse," answered the brother, 
cautiously, " and it's all the better it wasn't found out 
until he was well grown." 

" I should have broken him before, but I had no use 
-or him, and I thought it was just as well he should be 
in the pasture, so I only used him enough to keep him 
bridle-wise," commented the invalid, complacently. 

** I suspect somebody else used him more than you 
did," the brother added with a meaning smile. 

" What do you mean ?" 



Confidence Born of K7j,owledgc. 41 

" I've a notion that Hubert has ridden him about the 
pasture more than you imagine." 

" But Number 2, the pasture where he has always 
been kept, is a mile away, and only half cleared," said 
the father in surprise. 

" Well, Jack is a dozen years old. Jumping over 
logs and stumps was good exercise for the colt and 
splendid training for the boy," answered the brother. 
" Don't be troubled, Seth,"he continued ; "it won't hurt 
the lad for anything else to be a good horseman, and 
that he certainly is — the best for his years and inches I 
ever saw." 

" And you think he's right about what the colt can 
do?" 

" Beat the Queen, you mean ?" 

" Yes." 

" I think so — haven't any doubt of it ; though no one 
ever knows just what the old girl will do to-day by what 
she did yesterday." 

*' His dam was a good one. Nothing ever discouraged 
her. You remember when we moved out here, Horace, 
we had to lay over for the other horses to rest three or 
four times ; but old Fan was always ready to start — too 
ready, in fact," commented the elder, musingly. 

"And the colt was sired by Abdallah ?" rejoined the 
brother. 

" I don't know," was the reply. " You remember I 
sold the mare, and the purchaser let her run down until 
she was thin as a shadow. That was always the way 
with the old girl — let a fool drive her and she'd run her- 
self into the grave, no matter how well she was fed. 
She was getting on in years and the man thought she 
was going to die on his hands, and sold her back to me 
for a song. I turned her out to grass ; the fall feed was 
good ; she stood the winter well and the foal was as 



42 yl Son of Old Harry. 

pretty a fellow as I ever saw. The next year she took 
a hard cold and went off in a month as if she had quick 
consumption." 

" I suppose she had." 

" Very likely. I don't see why horses shouldn't have 
it as well as people, and I never saw a place where there 
was so much of it as right about here. I've heard the 
sire was Abdallah, but never quite believed the story." 

'* There's no doubt of it." 

** I'm almost sorry," said the brother, in a dissatisfied 
tone. " They're boasting a good deal about his stock 
now, especially for trotting nags, but I haven't much 
opinion of him or of trotters, either. It is a strained, 
unnatural gait — fast trotting, I mean ; and the horse 
that trots instead of galloping is a sort of monstrosity. 
I'm sorry its coming into favor again. As for Abdallah, 
I saw him once ; a mean, rat-tailed, ill-proportioned 
scrub, with the worst temper ever put inside a horse's 
skin." 

" The colt's got his share of that ; but you must 
remember that descent from Abdallah means Messen- 
ger blood." 

" Well, I, for one, don't think as much of Messenger 
blood as many do. I think it owes as much to what it 
has met with as to the qualities it brings " 

The younger brother smiled. In that day, it was still 
permissible to doubt the excellence of the matchless 
gray whose blood has since become the most valuable 
that ever coursed in equine veins, and there were many 
very capable horsemen who still regarded the trotting 
gait as a serious mistake. 

" At all events," said Horace, " Messenger blood 
means ' go ' to the very death." 

" I suppose that's so. Belmont used to say it was a 
strain of that which made it so hard to keep old Fan 



Confidence Born of Knowledge. 43 

m fair condition ; but she got most of her good qualities 
from the other side." 

" Did you buy her of a man named Belmont ?" asked 
the brother in surprise. 

" Bought her at the administrator's sale. She was old 
Loren Belmont's favorite nag. She was past her prime 
then, and, as usual when she had her own way, in low 
order, and went very cheap. She used to be called the 
' Belmont Mare,' and was a notable beast in her day." 

" I should think so !" exclaimed the other, emphatic- 
ally. 

" I wanted her because she was the best walker I ever 
saw — the colt is just like her in that — and I knew such 
a horse would be worth her price in a team on a long 
journey, if she did nothing afterward. Even a dull 
horse will wake up if he has a quick-stepper for a mate." 

" So ?" said the brother, with a long, low whistle. 
" That accounts for some things. The Queen is one of 
her colts, too." 

" Foaled the second year after we got here. I was a 
fool to sell her, but I needed money badly." 

" Lucky there was a scapegrace in the family to buy 
her back," rejoined the brother, jocosely. "I tell you, 
Seth, there's more money in Messenger blood than in 
any other stock that ever walked on four legs. You see 
they're always willing to do their level best. They may 
be coarse-built and high-strung and bad-tempered, but 
they're tough and determined. One of the best things 
that ever happened to this country was the landing of 
that scraggy gray who couldn't even be made sea-sick, 
but was all two men could manage the very minute he 
came down the gang-plank. His stock are mostly trot- 
ters, but I suppose the colt gets his gait from the other 
side. The Belmont Mare was a Bashaw, I believe." 

" Her dam was by an Arab." 



44 ^ ^on of Old Harry. 

" From a daughter of Messenger ; that's what I've 
heard." 

" And she was sired by Justin Morgan." 

" You see the colt is very well bred — almost thorough- 
bred, except the Morgan strain." 

" Well, I believe Justin Morgan was better bred than 
he gets credit for." 

" It may be." 

" Must have been to give out so even and strongly- 
marked a stock. You see, it's the average quality of a 
family of horses that shows the breeding, not the 
exceptions." 

" I suppose so," assented the brother, absently. 

" Of course it is," said the invalid, irritably, noticing 
the other's inattention. 

Horace looked anxiously at his brother, took his pipe 
from his pocket, filled and lighted it, took a whiff or 
two, cleared his throat and said : 

" If I tell you just what I think about the colt, Seth, 
it won't upset you, nor — anything, I s'pose ?" 

The other paled a little, but answered brusquely : 

"Of course not." 

"Well, then, I don't think there's above a dozen 
horses in the country can show him their heels ; and if 
you can hold on to him until that's generally known, 
you needn't fuss about not being able to work." 

The sick man, who had shown a strange weakness 
since his recovery, put his hand to his breast and 
looked steadily out of the window. His mouth twitched 
with pain, and there were tears in his eyes. 

" The Lord has rebuked my want of faith," he said, 
solemnly. 

" The colt will need to be given a fair chance, of 
course," interposed the brother, quickly. 

" You will do what you think best with him, Horace, 



CoJiJideiice BorJi of Knowledge. 45 

I don't want to know anything about it. It may not be 
right, but I'll stand by you and take the blame. Right 
or wrong, it means comfort for them;' he nodded 
towards the other room where his wife and his child 
were. " When I was at the worst and thought I was 
going to leave them unprovided-for, I promised the 
Lord that if He'd show me a way to do that, I wouldn't 
ask anything for myself. It seems as if He'd took me 
at my word, and I'm not going to back down, whatever 
the consequences. If there's any sin in what we're 
doing, Horace, I'll take it all on myself. If I knew it 
meant eternal punishment, I'd do it — for their sakes." 

His face grew pale and he leaned back in the rocking- 
chair, with a glance at the open door between the rooms. 
Horace rose and shut it softly, and returning, placed 
his hand on his brother's forehead. It was wet with 
heavy drops of sweat. 

" Don't be troubled, Seth," he said, soothingly, " It 
can't be wicked to raise and sell a colt — and that's all 
you're going to do. If I choose to arrange a race and 
win or lose a few dollars on the result, that's my affair. 
It won't be the first time I've done it, either, and prob- 
ably will not be the last. You just leave the matter to 
me and don't worry. I wouldn't have your name 
mixed up with such a thing — though I don't think 
there's any harm in it — any sooner than you ; but you 
know / can't be hurt, nohow." 

The sick man smiled. i, 

"You are very good, Horace." 

" No ; I'm just paying off some old debts." 

" I'm afraid I was too harsh with you sometimes, 
Horace — when we were both younger." 

" That's just where you're mistaken. If I ever do 
take a turn for the better, it'll be because of your 



46 A So7i of Old Harry. 

example," said the younger brother, with some show of 
feeling. 

The elder raised his right hand feebly, the younger 
clasped it and turned away his head. After a little 
time he withdrew his hand and went out of the room 
wiping his eyes. 



CHAPTER III. 



THE KING OF THE CORNERS. 



Ortonville was the name assumed by the little group 
of houses on the State road a mile from the dwelling of 
Seth Goodwin. Why it was called Ortonville, or why 
a ville of any sort should have been located at that 
point, nobody knew. It was not even a cross-roads, 
since the township roads which crossed the great high- 
way, did so, one to the northward and the other to the 
southward of the little village. Indeed, Ortonville had 
no legal status, boundaries or existence. It was located 
in Greenfield township ; and sometimes arrogated to 
itself the name of West Greenfield ; but the assumption 
was not regarded with approval by the inhabitants of 
other sections of the green parallelogram to which 
the name legally pertained. A score or so of houses, a 
store, two rival blacksmith's shops, a tavern, a grist- 
mill, a wagon-shop, a carding-mill, two churches and a 
select school may be said to have constituted about all 
there was of the pretentiously named little village. 
Small as it was, it was made more insignificant by being 
divided into two parts by a sharp gorge down which 
flowed a little stream, whose pent-up water lazily and 



" The King of the Coj'uers!' 47 

reluctantly turned the mill wheels. The inn and one of 
the stores stood on one side of the gorge ; the two 
churches, the school-house and several of the most pre- 
tentious residences on the other. 

The magnate of the village from the first was Mar- 
shall Kincaid, who owned the store, the hotel, the livery- 
stable upon the south side, and was the richest man in 
all that region. The store and the inn were under 
one roof and had a common sign — 



KINCAID'S. 



For a time the village was called '* Kincaid's" also ; but 
the people, especially upon the north bank of the 
stream, rebelled at this assumption, and procured the 
post-office to be named Ortonville. This institution 
was also, after a bitter contest, located in a rival store 
on the north side, which the owner of Kincaid's chose 
to consider as arrogating some aristocratic quality, 
because of the possession of the post-office, churches 
and the select school. 

Hard-headed, heavy-fisted and sharp-tongued was 
this magnate of Ortonville. The " best people " spoke 
slightingly of him. He retorted by calling the village, 
north of the ravine. Skunk Hollow. Coarse and demo- 
cratic in manner, he was strictly honest according to his 
own standard. What he promised, that he did. He 
was not scrupulous or merciful. He did what the law 
allowed him to do ; what it forbade, he did not attempt. 
In spite of all opposition, the tough-skinned owner of 
Kincaid's remained the autocrat of the ganglion which 
had grown up by the great artery of trade and travel. 



48 A Sou of Old Harry. 

along which the stage and the drover found their way 
towards the northern and southern outlets of the great 
East. What made this man a sportsman, it would be 
hard to say, unless it was that his strong nature craved 
the excitement of the gambler's life, while his prudence 
held him back from the gaming table. Certain it is 
that he prided himself especially upon his horses, and 
would rather have held a mortgage on Horace Good- 
win's mare Queen than on his brother's farm. 

It was early in May that Horace rode up to Kincaid's, 
watered his mare at the great trough which stood brim- 
ming over at the foot of the sign-post, hitched her in 
one of the long sheds across the way and sauntered 
toward the store, in the door of which stood the mer- 
chant, arms akimbo, clad in coarse white tow- cloth 
trousers, and shirt, then the usual summer wear, the 
sleeves of the latter rolled above his elbows, and having 
upon his head what was known as a " chip " hat, made 
of the braided filament of the buckeye-tree. 

" Hello, Hod !" he exclaimed. " Come in here ; I 
want to see you a minute. Where on earth have you 
been keepin' yourself all the spring ? Workin' for Seth ? 
Didn't know he could afford to hire. What you been 
doin' ? Sugarin' and plantin', eh ? I've heard about 
your sugar — mighty nice lot they tell me. Got any for 
sale? Sold it? How much ? Eight hundred pounds ! 
Why didn't you bring it to me ?" 

" Well," answered Horace, indifferently, " we found 
that we could get a cent a pound more at the harbor 
than you was offerin', and as I wanted to go East to see 
'bout some matters, we thought 'twas best to take it 
there. Might just as well, you see ; don't cost any more 
to drive a loaded team than an empty wagon." 

" Why didn't you go East, then ?" retorted the mer- 
chant, sharply. 



" The King of the Corner s'' 49 

" Found what I was after in Sandusky." 

" Oh, you did ? Must have been important." 

" That's what it was — to me." 

*' Oh, 'twas your business, was it ? Everybody knows 
that when Hod Goodwin has business on hand, it must 
be 'tended to right off or it'll spile." 

He turned sideways in the door to give several 
loungers in the store the benefit of his rude wit. There 
was an approving laugh, and one or two of them sidled 
past him and stood upon the porch the better to hear the 
wordy encounter. Horace Goodwin, in the phrase of 
the region, was regarded as " able to hold his hand with 
most any body that chose to tackle him." He leaned 
quietly against one of the posts of the porch, holding a 
beech switch in his hand, with which he carelessly 
tapped his red morocco boot-top, as he joined in the 
laugh against himself. Horace Goodwin was inclined 
to be what the good people of the region termed " fop- 
pish in his dress." On the present occasion, though he 
wore the ordinary homespun of the country, it fitted his 
supple figure with a careless elegance, and the blue tie, 
which confined the flowing Byronic collar at the throat, 
the high, calf-skin boots, carefully blacked, and having 
red morocco tops, together with a pair of brass spurs so 
well polished that they shone like gold, gave him a sus- 
piciously picturesque appearance. In truth, his reputa- 
tion as a sport and reckless ne'er-do-well, was based quite 
as much on his good clothes and good looks as on any- 
thing reprehensible in his conduct. He had come to the 
village for a special purpose, and had studied his attire 
with especial reference to that object, gfiving it just that 
careless elegance which he knew was most irritating to 
the coarse nature of the landlord. 

" Well, Squire," he answered with a provoking drawl, 
" I don't know 'bout that ; but even if it was sp'ilt, I 



50 A Son of Old Harry. 

don't think my business would smell as bad as yourn 
does in good condition." 

The hit was too apparent to be overlooked, and the 
laugh was on the magnate. 

"Never you mind my business," he retorted, angrily. 
" I'll take care of that. Brought back a load from Van 
Wyck, didn't you ?" 

" B'lieve we did." 

" Trust him ?" 

" Wasn't asked to." 

" Owed him, I s'pose .?" 

*' He paid cash at the dock — always does, I hear. 
That's how he get's his hauling done cheap." 

" Oh, 'tis ! Wal, he'll need to. I'll show him what it 
means to come and open a store right here under my 
nose. In less'n a year, the sheriff'll be auctionin' off his 
goods if I have to sell mine at less'n cost." 

" Ortonville '11 be a cheap place to buy goods, for a 
while, then !" 

*' Kincaid's '11 be the cheap place, and that's where the 
goods '11 be brought, too." 

" They say Day & Miller is backin' Van "Wyck." 

" Don't care who's a-backin' him, I'll break him down 
or bu'st up myself. I've made up my mind to that." 

" That's what Wyck says he likes to see you doing. 
He says he keeps run of your prices, and sends all of 
his best customers here for big bargains. He furnishes 
them the cash to buy with, you see, and takes their 
truck at a fair price. He says it's cheaper to have you 
bring on his goods than haul them himself." 

A roar went up at this sally, and the merchant, will- 
ing to conceal his vexation, joined in it. 

" You're too sharp for me this mornin', Hod. I give 
up. Got any more of that fine sugar ? They say you 



" The Ki7ig of the Corners^ 51 

Vermont folks beat the world at b'ilin' sap. What do 
you suppose makes the difference ?" 

" I don't know, unless it's because we use more water." 

" More water ? What has that to do with it ? What's 
the use of mixin' water with the sap, when you have to 
bile out what's in it ?" asked one of the loungers. 

" Oh, I didn't mean waterin' the sap," answered 
Horace, dryly. " I meant washin' the kettles and the 
troughs and things of that sort." 

" Hello, Hank !" said Kincaid, giving the one who 
had spoken a whack upon the back. " Who's hit, now ? 
They say you're so 'fraid of wastin' water that you don't 
wash your hands above once a month." 

" I'd wash 'em oftener if I had 'em in as many dirty 
things as you handle," retorted the farmer, desperately. 

" Wal, never mind," said the merchant, relieved by 
the way the laugh had turned on another. " What I 
want to know. Hod, is whether you've got any more of 
that sugar. I s'pose I'll have to have a little, if I pay 
twice what it's worth. My wife's been at me 'bout get- 
tin' some for a month. She don't like muscovado. Now 
I do. 'Tain't quite so white, but it's sweeter an* richer." 

" Flavored with bits of nigger now and then, too. 
That's what makes it suit your taste, I s'pose," said 
Hank, willing to repay his tormentor for the thrust he 
had received. 

" I don't know about that. I don't reckon there is 
anything in that story, I 'low niggers cost too much to 
be used to flavor molasses with. But whatever 'tis, I 
like muscovado. I think a green-apple pie, sweetened 
with muscovado, with white clover honey on top of it, 
is just about as good eatin' as a man ever gets. But my 
wife spleens against it, and is especially fond of Good- 
win's sugar, 'cause she says she knows it's clean. I hope 
you saved some for us, Hod ?" 



52 A Son of Old Harry. 

" I don't know whether Seth's folks would think they 
could spare any more or not. We made about twelve 
hundred pounds." 

"So I heard," remarked the merchant. "Mighty 
good bush, that." 

" 'Bout the best in the country, and well-equipped, 
too. Seven hundred buckets and troughs ; two forty- 
barrel store-troughs, and a sugar-house thirty feet by 
seventy, as light and dry as a parlor, and a sixty-foot 
arch for boiling. It's hard to beat." 

" Jest so," said the magnate, with a shrewd twinkle in 
his eyes. 

" But you see. Marsh, the last run was after the buds 
had started, and wasn't quite as white as what was 
' done off ' before ; a little sticky, too, as if it wasn't 
quite dry." 

"Always will be that way after the buds start," 
remarked the farmer called Hank. 

" Yes," continued Horace, " and I don't s'pose Seth's 
folks would like to sell that." 

" Hurt his reputation, eh ?" 

" Seth's mighty particular 'bout such things, you know. 
Besides, it takes a good deal of sweetening for the fam- 
ily, 'specially when I'm there ; then they're expecting a 
sight of company this year, and Seth being sick — " 

" How is he now ?" 

" So's to be about the house, but don't seem to have 
no strength — no more'n a baby, hardly. Just gives out 
if he lifts his hands, let alone doing any work." 

" I hear he's mighty happy, though ?" 

It was Hank who asked the question, and his face had 
assumed a sudden seriousness. 

" Perfectly." 

" So the Elder told me. I tell you, gentlemen, reli- 
gion pays at such times," said the grimy-handed farmer, 



" The King of the Corners!^ 53 

turning toward the others with an unconscious assump- 
tion of superiority. 

" So I s'pose. When I git that way, I'll think about 
it," said Kincaid, lightly. 

" You'd better begin pretty soon, Marsh. You'll need 
all the time you're likely to have, if half they tell about 
you is true," retorted Hank, shrugging his shoulders 
and winking at the others. 

" How much was there of that last run ?" asked 
Kincaid, ignoring the rough exhortation. 

" About eighty or a hundred pounds." 

" What you goin' to do with the rest ?" 

" Seth thought we'd better keep it. They might need 
it, you know." 

" Need four hundred pounds of sugar ! More'n I use 
in the tavern !" 

" Perhaps the house'd be more popular if you used 
more," retorted Hank. 

" No doubt it takes a good deal of that to sweeten 
Seth's religion," sneered the merchant. " Well, he can 
afford it — he's mor'gaged. By the way, when's he goin' 
to pay that thousand dollars I've beeii waitin' for since 
January ?" 

" I don't know — not just now, I s'pose," answered 
Horace ; ** but you needn't be at all afraid, Marshall ; 
he'll get it some time, and he might as well be paying 
you interest as any one. We've got in a good crop, and 
I'm going to help him this year. He's had bad luck, you 
know, but we're going into a little matter that promises 
mighty well, we think." 

" Horses ?" asked Kincaid, sharply. 

"Well, a little. I went on East last fall looking up 
this trotting business, that's come up so hot all at once. 
I've had a sulky built and am going to train the Queen 
for some of the fall races." 



54 A So7i of Old Harry. 

" 'Tain't no good," said the other, positively ; " they'll 
beat ye out of yer eye-teeth. You ain't no match fer 
them fellers down East, Hod Goodwin." 

" I don't know," answered, Horace, complacently. 
" I hain't ever got let in very bad on a horse yet, and I 
thought while we were at it,Seth and I might as well pick 
up a drove and take them on at the same time. So if one 
speculation flashed in the pan the other might amount 
to something." 

** That ain't a bad idee. It'll take money, though, to 
buy horses cheap, an' they don' either on ye seem to 
have any too gfreat a supply of that," sneered the mer- 
chant. " I don't see how y're going to do business, 
unless you've got either money or credit," 

" Well, you see, Seth's wife's brother, back East, he's 
a little forehanded, and he's got a mighty good idea of 
Seth's judgment and my luck ; so he's going to furnish a 
little money for a starter, 'Twas him I went to San- 
dusky to meet," 

"Jest so; wal, 'tain't half a bad idea," repeated 
Kincaid. " Ef you'd been as stiddy as Seth, you'd been 
a rich man long ago with your luck — judgment, I'd call it 
— but Seth'll spile it ; see if he don't. He's too pious to 
make a good hoss-trader." 

*' I s'pose I'll have to do the buying," said Horace. 

'* You'll have to do the sellin', too, if there's any money 
made," answered Kincaid. 

" S'pose I shall," was the reply, 

" Then what in thunder's Seth going to do ?" 

." Look after me and keep me straight, I guess," 

" So you're goin' to turn pious, too," sneered the 
magnate of the double-headed village, 

" Well, I thought I'd see if I couldn't turn my expe- 
rience to some account, and help Seth along at the same 
time." 




.A J 




" The King- of the Corners." 55 

" Hod Goodwin," said the merchant, " you're jest as 
big a fool as ever, Ef you'd done that ten years ago, 
or even five, you'd made a fortune, both on ye ; but it's 
too late now. He's got no credit, and I'm goin' to 
harvest that crop you have been plantin' for him, 
unless — " here he looked around and winked at the 
loiterers — "unless he takes that brother-in-law's money 
and pays off my mortgage. That would be a good 
plan, now." 

" Seth would starve, first," exclaimed the brother, 
angrily. 

" B'lieve he would," rejoined Kincaid ; " but it's his 
only way out of the box he's in. I'm goin' to put the 
note in suit right away ; the place'll be sold in July — 
jest the tightest time in all the year for money — and 
he'll have to get off before the crop's ripe. I'm goin' 
to have the money or the place, and, if the com does 
well, I'd a leetle rather have the place than the 
money." 

" There ain't no doubt of that," answered Horace ; 
" but I'll bet something you don't get it." 

" How's he goin' to help it ?" 

" I can't say just now." 

" You can't make nothin' on yer hoss spec afore fall 
nohow ?" 

" I s'pose not." 

" Wal, then, what's to hinder ?" 

" I don't know exactly ; I just feel, though, as if some- 
thing or other'd turn up to save Seth's place ; been feel- 
in' so all the time." 

" Bet ye fifty dollars that I git the place," retorted 
the merchant, slapping his brawny palm on the door- 
casing. 

" Guess I'll have to take you up on that. Squire." 

"All right," said Kincaid, going behind the counter 



56 A Son of Old Harry. 

and opening his money-drawer, with a flourish ; " put 
up yer available." 

" It's about all I've got," answered Horace, taking out 
his pocket-book, "and it's a good while to wait for 
returns ; but one has to back his kin, you know. What 
time did you say ?" 

" Wal— first of October." 

"All right." 

Horace counted out the money, and the two went 
across the street to put the stakes in the hands of a 
third party. They chose a lawyer, and when the 
deposit had been made, the terms being carefully 
written out and signed by the parties, the merchant 
said : 

"Now, Kendall, you jest push that suit ag'in' Setli 
Goodwin, and the money in that paper is yer fee. I'm 
much obleeged to you. Hod, for helpin' me pay a law- 
yer to eject yer brother." 

This incident put the money-lender in good humor, 
and on their return to the store he began to banter the 
other to make a race between his mare Queen and a 
noted gray horse which the merchant had bought the 
summer before. He was known as Gray Eagle, and 
was said to have a long record of victories on the 
turf. It was rumored that Kincaid had bought him 
especially to dispossess the Queen from her supremacy, 
his previous attempts in that direction having been 
rather costly failures. This was exactly what Horace 
Goodwin had come to the village to effect, but he was 
a keen judge of men and knew that the surest way 
to effect his purpose was to display entire indiffer- 
ence. So he answered nonchalantly enough to the 
eager banter : 

" Can't do it, Squire. I'm going to train her to trot ; 
made up my mind to that. Besides, it wouldn't be any 



" The King of the Corners.^'' 57 

credit to her to beat that lop-eared old nag of yours. 
You got awfully taken in when you paid twenty-five 
hundred dollars for such a horse. He's seen his best 
days, and never was worth anything like that money." 

" Who told you I paid that ?" asked Kincaid, sharply. 

" Why, I went down to Kentucky just to find out about 
him ; and I found out all I wanted to know, too." 

" We did call it twenty-five hundred," admitted the 
other, " but part of it was trade. Anyhow, he can run a 
mile quicker'n any horse in Ohio. Come, now, I dare 
you to make a race with him and your mare, and bet 
one horse against the other." 

" Oh, I won't run the mare ; that's settled. I wouldn't 
run her against him, anyhow ; it would spoil her repu- 
tation. But I'll tell you what I will do. I ain't the man 
to spoil sport or take a banter. I'll pick up a horse 
right out of the pasture that never run a race in his life, 
and just give me a few days to show him how to pick 
up two feet at a time, and if he don't beat your old Gray 
Eagle the best two out of three, mile-heats, you may 
tate the Queen ; and, if he does, you shall give me as 
much for him as you agreed to pay for the Eagle." 

The loiterers highly applauded this challenge, all the 
more, because they had no idea that it would ever pass 
beyond the realm of braggadocio. Fond as the people 
were of horse-racing at that time, large bets were 
exceedingly rare. The merchant, knowing how attached 
Horace Goodwin was to his pet mare, thought this 
merely a bluff, and met it with one as bold. 

" Done !" said he emphatically. " A word's enough 
— between gentlemen — " he added, scornfully. " Come 
right over to Squire Kendall's again and have the writ- 
in's draw'd up at once. There ain't no mortgage on the 
mare, I s'pose ?" 



58 A So7i of Old Harry, 

" Nothing on her heavier'n a saddle," answered Good- 
win. 

" I s'pose my note '11 be security enough for the 
money." 

" The money '11 do well enough for me, Squire, or 
anything that'll bring money, but not any note of yours, 
if you please." 

" Do you think I'd go back on my word ?" 

" ' Fast bind, fast find,' Mr. Kincaid. That's your 
motto, I believe. If I put up a bill of sale of the mare, 
you've got to put up the money or the money's worth." 

Again the sentiment of the crowd was unmistakably 
in Goodwin's favor. After some haggling, it was agreed 
that the race should be run on Tuesday, the third day 
of July, if the weather was fair and the track dry — if 
not, on the next day — it being admitted by both that it 
would not do to make a match over a hard clay track 
when it was wet with a recent shower. The landlord 
was to deposit two thousand dollars — good and lawful 
money — to abide the issue, ten days before the race, and 
in case of failure to do so, to forfeit the five hundfed 
now deposited, and in that case the bill of sale of the 
Queen was to be returned to her owner. Proof satis- 
factory to the stakeholder, that the unknown horse had 
been reared in that or an adjoining county, and had 
never run for any stake, was to be made at the time set 
for the race, which was to be three heats along the 
** measured mile," Goodwin having the choice as to 
which end of the course the track should begin. 

An hour afterward, when Horace Goodwin dashed 
past the window at which his brother sat, and up the 
lane to the low, rambling barn in the rear, the mare was 
unusually blown and he had chewed the beech switch 
until only a fragment of it remained. He felt that he 
had made a desperate venture, on which not only his 



" The King of the Corners." 59 

own favorite but his brother's good name were staked, 
with the chances by no means certain in his favor. Yet 
when he came to the house a few minutes after, his 
countenance was as composed as if he had never 
dreamed that failure was a possibility. 

" There is no betting about it, Horace ?" Seth Good- 
win asked, when he was told that the colt was to run 
with the Gray Eagle. 

*' If he beats Kincaid's horse," answered Horace, 
evasively, "you can have twenty-five hundred for the 
colt ; that is all." 

" And if he does not ?" 

" You will still have the colt." 

Horace did not inform him that his own highly- 
prized mare would be the forfeit for the colt's insuffi- 
ciency. The answer satisfied the elder brother. He 
was a shrewd and thoughtful man, but he knew little 
about racing, and did not trouble himself to guess that 
there must be another side of the wager. Horace had 
made it one of the conditions of the match that its terms 
should be kept secret, so that no whisper of them came 
to the elder brother's ears. 

" Very well," he responded after d moment's silence ; 
" if there is no betting about it, I have no objection. I 
think the colt will give a good account of himself. Who 
is going to ride him ?" 

The brother glanced at Hubert, who stood by, 
eagerly drinking in every word of the conversation. 

" Do you think it safe ?" asked the father, in an 
anxious tone. 

" The colt will do more for him than for anj^ one else, 
and you remember what the English turfmen say : 
* Ounces at the start mean guineas at the finish.' " 

" Well, I suppose that is true," Seth Goodwin replied. 

A few days afterward, Horace Goodwin and his 



6o A Son of Old Hai-ry. 

nephew, with the Queen and the colt Pompey, suddenly 
disappeared from the neighborhood. It was generally 
reported that they had gone to find a horse to match 
the Gray Eagle. As the days went by and they did 
not return, there was a good deal of curiosity expressed 
as to their whereabouts. 



CHAPTER IV. 

SOLITUDE THE NURSE OF POWER. 

It was a curious training-stable that Horace Goodwin 
chose for the colt on whose performance he had staked 
so much. The Queen represented the sum total of his 
accumulations, and he had no intention of losing her by 
neglect of any precaution. At a time when most 
young men of enterprise and respectability were land- 
owners at twenty-five, Horace Goodwin was approach- 
ing thirty without having become master of an acre. 
Patrimony he had none. His father, from whom he 
inherited only a happy-go-lucky temperament, had not 
only squandered the little inheritance he received, but 
had shown such utter lack of capacity, that the thrifty 
neighbors counted his death a blessing to his wife, who, 
aided by a remnant of her dowry, bravely undertook 
the support and education of her two sons. Seth, the 
elder by several years, she had consecrated with many 
prayers, to the work of the ministry, which was the 
destiny most desired by every pious mother of that day 
for her favorite child. Before his preparation for this 
exalted station was fairly begun, however, the duty of 
maintaining the family devolved on him ; and the 



Solitude the Nurse of Power. 6i 

younger had hardly reached the years of self-support 
when their mother passed away, leaving him to the 
guardianship of his elder brother. 

The western fever had long possessed Seth Goodwin. 
The family once prominent and prosperous had " kind 
of run out," the neighbors said, as so many New Eng- 
land families do, if they stick too close to the ancestral 
ax^res. People pityingly compared their present with 
their past estate, and Seth Goodwin was not the man 
to endure pity. If he inherited nothing but pride from 
the past, he had enough of that and to spare — the real 
blue-blooded, Plymouth-Rock-and-Faneuil-Hall pride 
in the essential superiority of all things Eastern, which 
was not so comical in its absurdity then as it has since 
become. Upon their mother's death, therefore, he lost 
no time in transferring his household gods to the West. 
He did not expect to find an Eldorado, but he was 
ready to battle with whatever came in his way to com- 
petence, and was especially anxious to get away from 
all familiar knowledge of the Goodwin history and 
attributes. He shrank from exposing his wife and 
their baby boy to the privations of pioneer life, and so, 
with the usual short-sightedness of the over-cautious, 
pitched his tent in the middle West, where there was 
less of comfort and no more of opportunity than in the 
region from which they came. 

He provided for his brother's sustenance and educa- 
tion, so far as the restless character of the young man 
would permit, and when he came of age, offered him the 
choice of a moiety of the little store which constituted 
their inheritance, undiminished by any charge for nur- 
ture, or an equal share in the land he had bought, if the 
younger brother would " settle down " and work with 
him until it was paid for. This offer was a very liberal 
one, so other people thought, but Horace unhesitatingly 



62 A Son of Old Harry. 

chose the bit of money rather than the half -cleared 
acres, and received it with some unsolicited advice, 
which as usual in such cases, he proceeded promptly to 
disregard. This conduct grieved the elder brother, 
but in no way disturbed the pleasant relations that 
existed between them. " The Goodwins aren't much 
alike, but they stick to each other," was the general 
verdict upon the brothers. 

Horace's money very soon burned a hole in his pocket, 
through which his earnings as well as his inheritance 
dribbled away. A gun and a violin were presently the 
sum total of his possessions. Afterward he had pur- 
chased the mare, which was the extent of his acquisi- 
tions. His brother's house was still his home, where 
he never lacked a welcome for himself or a stall for his 
favorite. He did not want ability or industry, though 
the latter was of a fitful character and the former not 
always directed to the most creditable ends. While few 
excelled him in the harvest-field, he was admittedly 
unrivaled as a violinist, an accomplishment then deemed 
almost as discreditable as the skill for which he was 
also noted in manipulating those painted bits of paste- 
board whose mysterious charm was then regarded as a 
device of the arch-enemy of mankind for the taking of 
unwary souls. Versatile, kindly, jovial, he was stable 
only in the pursuit of the pleasures he affected, and 
devotion to the mare, with which no temptation could 
induce him to part. This was a peculiarly unfortunate 
combination of good and bad qualities for a time when 
life was especially earnest and real to those who were 
waging a hard conflict with nature, with none of the 
excitement of the pioneer and few of the comforts of 
civilization. 

He had led a roving, though it could hardly be called 
an idle life, w^hich was not without advantage in an 



Solitude the Nurse of Power. 6 



o 



added knowledge of the world and its ways. He had been 
East in the employ of drovers, once or twice, an experi- 
ence of no little value in those days when it took two or 
three months to get the stock of the West to New York 
"on the hoof." Afterward, because of his skill as a 
purchaser and excellent judgment as to the value of 
stock, he had been employed to buy horses and cattle 
for a firm doing business at one of the lake ports. He 
was generally in receipt of good wages, but none of his 
earnings stuck to his fingers, except the Queen. He 
had repeatedly offered to let his brother have a part of 
his wages to assist him in paying off his indebtedness ; 
but Seth Goodwin was the very incarnation of that 
pride which would rather endure hardship than be 
indebted to another's favor, more especially one whom 
he had so often lectured for extravagance. 

Horace Goodwin was, therefore, one of the best- 
dressed, poorest, most contented, best-liked and least 
esteemed men in that region of the country. It was 
said that he knew most of the men and women and 
every one of the horses in the five counties adjoining 
that in which he lived. Because of this, the owner of 
Gray Eagle, despite his confidence in the prowess of his 
steed, was somewhat uneasy about the wager he had 
made. Twenty-five hundred dollars was a big price to 
pay for a horse, even though by some scratch of luck 
he might be able to defeat the nag of which he had 
boasted so confidentially. The truth was that Marshall 
Kincaid felt that he had been overmatched in the pur- 
chase of Gray Eagle, and would have been glad to get 
him off his hands at a greatly reduced figure. He had 
been a very good horse, but the winter had revealed 
certain infirmities which caused his new owner to regard 
him with a feeling not very far removed from nausea. 
He had bought him without warranty, however, and the 



64 A Son of Old Harry. 

only chance he had to make himself whole was by 
wagers on his performance. It was possible that 
another horse of similar character might win by dint 
of superior management. The chagrin of such a possi- 
bility troubled the magnate of the Comers even more 
than the prospect of loss. 

The fact that the Queen was excluded by the terms 
of the race gave him no little comfort. He knew it was 
not an easy thing to find a raw horse which had never 
run a race able to defeat even a second-rate veteran of 
the turf under good management. The latter he made 
sure of by sending to Kentucky for the colored jockey 
who had ridden the Gray Eagle in his best races. As 
the jockey was a slave, he was obliged to give security 
to the master for the negro's safe return to bondage. 

Despite all these precautions, however, he did not 
feel exactly safe. Horace Goodwin was too good a 
horseman and too fond of his mare to stake her upon a 
mere chance of success. Could it be that he had dis- 
covered some phenomenally good horse whose merits 
no one else recognized ? Do what he might, Marshall 
Kincaid could not divest himself of a fear that this 
might be the case. He accordingly sent trusty messen- 
gers through each of the adjoining counties to make 
inquiries in regard to horses of the description indicated, 
which Horace Goodwin might perhaps secure for the 
purposes of the race, and, if possible, to discover also 
where Horace was hidden. The result of these inqui- 
ries was a conviction that young Goodwin would try to 
palm off, on the day of the race, a horse which did not 
comply with the conditions. As this would result in a 
forfeiture of the stakes, if the deception were exposed 
in time, he determined to be prepared for it by securing 
the attendance of a large number of men well acquainted 
with the people and horses of the adjacent counties. 



Solitude the Nurse of Power. 65 

He did not give a thought to the colt which had grown 
up on the farm so quietly as never to have attracted 
the attention even of the owner's " horsey " brother. 

In the meantime, by a roundabout way, Horace and 
his nephew reached the training-stable which had been 
decided upon in case a match was made, long before. It 
was not a very luxurious affair ; but for secrecy, 
and adaptation to the purpose intended, a better one 
could hardly be imagined. It was Seth Goodwin's 
sugar -house, the camp at which the sap from his 
sugar-bUvSh was boiled into syinip. It was a log-cabin, 
seventy feet long, with a store-trough hollowed from a 
giant cucumber-tree stretching along one side, and a 
great stone arch, in which were set a half-dozen large 
iron cauldrons on the other. Ordinarily the cabin was 
used during the summer to store the vessels in which 
the sap was caught, but this year these had been piled 
up outside of it, and a snug partition had been put 
across it, giving the opportunity for two roomy but 
secluded stalls beyond. The camp was admirably 
located, both for its original purpose and the one to 
which it was now dedicated. 

It stood beside a running stream in a narrow valley, 
closely shut in by a dense growth of beech and maple. 
Hardly twenty steps away, a cold spring burst out of the 
sheltering bank, while just below was a sandy-bottomed 
pool, which constituted an ideal attachment of the train- 
ing-stable. The store-trough served as a manger, and 
the front end of the log-cabin was occupied by the 
trainer and the jockey, who thus literally slept with the 
horse they were preparing for the crucial test of equine 
merit. Their preparations had been carefully made, 
and everything that might be needed for the horses 
and their attendants had been brought there at night 
and with every possible precaution to secure secrecy. 



66 A Son of Old Harry. 

For a training-ground they had the springy wood 
roads, cut for hauling sap to the camp, which were per- 
fection itself for the ordinary jogging exercise, while a 
few days' work with a pair of steers had made a splendid 
turf -course around "Number Two," a twenty- acre 
pasture which lay just outside the verdant wall that 
marked the edge of the primeval forest, and was 
securely hidden from the road, a mile away, by a fringe 
of second-growths along its lower side. The sugar- 
bush was part of an unbroken forest which stretched 
between the parallel section-roads two miles apart, only 
cut by narrow cross-roads at equal intervals. Sur- 
rounded by this dense mass of giant decidua, there was 
no danger of discover}', unless by some chance wan- 
derer, and as it was not the season for hunting, this was 
very unlikely. For two months, this sequestered sugar- 
camp was to be the training-stable of the bay colt and 
of the mare, which was at the same time to be fitted 
for the trotting-course, on which it was hoped she might 
win profitable distinction. 

To the boy these were months of almost unalloyed 
happiness. Not only did its secrecy give special relish 
to a life intrinsically attractive, but it was the first time 
he had ever been a day beyond the touch of parental 
restraint, and the solitude of the forest is magical in its 
power to develop self-reliance and individuality Man- 
hood is a flower which unfolds its petals most readily 
where only God and Nature can scrutinize their form and 
color. There is no place where the boy ripens into a 
man so swiftly as in the shadows of the forest or the glare 
of the desert. Besides this, the knowledge that his father 
was constantly improving in health because of the hope 
resulting from his estimate of the colt's merits, and the 
importance of the work in which they were engaged, 
made the days of steady application to a single purpose 



Solitude the Nurse of Poiver. 67 

pass radidly away, while the flashing fire, the uncle's 
violin and the thousand voices which filled the verdant 
wood, made the summer nights a genuine fairy -land to 
his fervid fancy. 

Absorbed in his surroundings, he hardly noted the 
daily improvement of the colt, until he suddenly awoke 
to the fact that the animal he rode was quite a different 
beast from the one he had been accustomed to bestride. 
That nameless transformation which comes to a well- 
bred horse when he is " in condition," had given a new 
fire and life to his favorite. Speeded daily on the 
springy turf of Number Two, with the mare whom he 
was usually allowed to out-strip without too much effort, 
the instinct of the racer was stimulated, until the colt 
would have given up his life rather than be outdone. 
Then he was taught to yield to his rider's judgm^ent, 
hanging on the mare's quarter and trailing steadily 
after her around the course, to steal in with a nish just 
at the finish, she being held back to make his victory 
more apparent. At the same time the colt's master 
received a training not less thorough at the hands of 
the experienced horseman with whom he was associated. 
From toe-tip to fore-top he learned the anatomy of the 
horse, while having the benefit of practice in his manage- 
ment and care. It was an education none the less impor- 
tant, because rare even among those who profess a spe- 
cial liking for the noble animal. The teacher had found 
somewhere the cannon-bone of a horse, still attached 
by the curiously intricate combination of bone and liga- 
ments of the fetlock and pastern, to that amazing system 
of self -renewing springs, the hoof. This he analyzed, 
dissected and discoursed upon for the benefit of his 
young pupil, in the intervals of their labor, illustrating 
his theories by examples drawn from his own experi- 
ence, or which he had gathered from the conversation 



68 A. Son of Old Harry. 

of others. As a consequence, the boy developed almost 
as rapidly as the colt, and when the period of seclusion 
was over, had not only become a well-informed horse- 
man, but desired nothing so much as the life of a jockey. 
Happening to mention this ambition one night, after a 
pleasant day's work, when his uncle was quietly smok- 
ing, as he reclined on the pile of hay which served them 
as a couch, that worthy took his pipe from his jnouth 
and said, sharply : 

" Now, look here, my boy, none 'o that. Remember 
you're Seth Goodwin's son. He's set his heart and hope 
on you. It is well enough for a man to come up 
through a stable, but he cannot go down into one unless 
it is for a special purpose — such as this — if he expects 
to be anything in the world. I hope to see you 
ride this race and possibly one more — if you win, 
that is. Then you must give up all thoughts of such 
things. - It is well enough to know all aboiit horses, but 
it's a bad notion to think too much of them, especially 
for a Goodwin with a red spur on his heel. It happens 
to be the only way you can help your father just now ; 
and it's a real providence that you can do this. I can't 
help thinking about it, though I don't believe your 
father half realizes how marvelous it is. He thinks the 
Lord will look out for him and his, as a matter of course. 
I'm just sure his prayers are going to be answered, but 
it will be in a way he never thought of looking for help 
to come. Everything is turned around, you see. 
Always before it has been the pious, strait-laced Good- 
wins, who have helped the reckless ones ; but it's just 
the other way now. If we hadn't the mark of the beast 
on us there wouldn't be much help for Seth now, so far 
as I can see, at least. I ain't blaming your father, lad, 
nor I don't mean to speak lightly of serious things. I'm 
afraid he won't be able to do much for himself' — for a 



Solitude the Niti'se of Power. 69 

good while, anyway — and it'll be a great relief to him 
to have the place clear of debt. If we win, that'll be 
off his mind ; if we lose, he won't be any worse for the 
way it's done. 

" But he wouldn't have had any chance at all if his 
brother hadn't been a son of Old Harry, or his son hadn't 
taken to horses as naturally as a duck to water. Now I 
just believe that's the reason the Lord made us what we 
are — so't we could help one that's been as good a servant 
as He's likely to find in these days. I'm glad the Lord 
has found a way to make me useful, too. I've been 
afraid sometimes that I wouldn't ever be fit for anything 
decent. I can make money enough, but I don't seem 
able to keep it. It slips away while I'm trying to find out 
how to hold on to it ; and nobody can be respecta- 
ble unless he has more money than he has any use for. 
Remember that, my son. It don't matter how good or 
wise a man may be ; if he ain't rich, he's mighty little 
thought of. 

" That's always the way. There's sure to be one Good- 
win in every generation that ain't of much account — 
kind of sleazy, you know. It didn't make so much dif- 
ference as long as there were two of them. One was 
sure to keep up the name and make it respectable. But 
you're all alone — the very last Goodwin there is — and 
you've got to be steady like your father, and not wild 
like me. Of course, you can't help being fond of horses, 
and I think you ought to know all about them, so that 
you won't be led away by any false notions. Horses 
are like cards ; it's the man who knows the least about 
them that gets taken in the worst by them. But you've 
got something better to do than give your time to horses. 
You've got to please your father — do what he wants you 
to do — and show the world Seth Goodwin's got a boy 
fit to bear his name." 



70 A Son of Old Harry. 

" What does he want I should do, Uncle Horace ?" 
asked the boy, not very cheerfully. 

" Well, the first thing, you know, he wants you to go 
to school." 

" Oh, that's easy enough," said the lad, brightening. 

" Of course, it's easy," continued the uncle, approv- 
ingly. " I never cared much about book-learning 
myself ; but your father would have made a great 
scholar if he'd had a chance. That's why he's so anxious 
to have you get a good education. Do you know he 
wants to send you to college ?" 

The boy shook his head, wonderingly. 

" Yes, he does ; I don't fancy the notion, but he wants 
you to be what he hadn't a chance to become. I don't 
know, being a baby when pa died, but I expect ' the 
gray mare was the better horse ' in that team. Ma was 
a remarkable woman, and she made up her mind that 
Seth should be a minister — not one of those stub-toed, 
lickity-clip fellows that know about as much about 
preaching as I do about shoe-making, but a real, 
thorough-bred, college-educated minister. And I 
expect, if she'd lived, she'd have brought it about in one 
way or another. 

" He'd have made a goer, too," continued the brother, 
with enthusiasm, " if he'd been rightly handled. But 
you see he had me on his hands, and that held him back. 
I've always thought it was a pity. There ain't many 
that can outfoot him in an exhortation now, when he 
gets waked up. Bless your soul, I've seen him at camp- 
meeting sometimes, when it would just make one's hair 
stand up to see his eyes flashing, his face pale, his lips 
quivering, and the words just tumbling over each other 
trying to get out of the way of those behind. And 
when it comes to praying, I've never seen the minis- 
ter of them all that could hold a candle to him." 



Solitude the Nurse of Power. 71 

A flush of pride rose to the boy's face as he listened 
to these words of praise. He had more than once 
seen his father transfigured by strong emotion, and 
felt himself carried away by the rush of his rude elo- 
quence, the effect of which had been to make him 
regard the stern, severe parent with an admiration akin 
to awe. 

" And he don't preach what he don't practice, nor 
spoil a story for relation's sake, either," continued the 
uncle, " if he did whip Dan Marvin for lying about me. 
I remember once, over in New Dorset camp-ground, I 
and three other fellows had crept into a thicket, on the 
outskirts of the meeting-place, for a quiet game of cards. 
We could hear 'em a-shouting and praying, but couldn't 
make out any of the words, and so didn't trouble our- 
selves about them. I had been a-hauling in the others' 
dimes and quarters pretty lively, for they were just 
about as green as grass, while I wasn't exactly a chicken, 
though the youngest of the crowd. They played, you 
see, because they thought it was wicked ; I played for the 
fun of the thing, and just took their money as a fair price 
for what they learned — or had a chance to learn, at least." 

His eyes twinkled, and the corners of his mouth drew 
down, as he gave this ludicrous excuse. The boy 
laughed appreciatively. 

" I guess I had got about all they had, when all at 
once we heard Seth's voice. He was praying, and I tell 
you the very birds kept still to listen to him. Every word 
came just as plain as if he had been only a hundred 
feet instead of half a hundred rods away. It was one of 
those hot summer days when the very leaves are still ; 
and his voice swelled and echoed under the maples, as 
if he had been alone with God. It had been growing 
dark under the trees for some time, but there had not 
been a growl of thunder nor a breath of wind. The 



A Son of Old Harry. 



clouds had settled down and seemed to rest like a 
blanket on the tops of the trees. I've heard that at 
such times sound travels farther than at others — it is 
kind of shut in, you know, between earth and sky. 

" But I didn't think anything about it, then. We just 
stopped to listen — had to, you see. After awhile, I 
gathered up the cards and put them in my pocket. 
Just about that time, your father began to tell the Lord 
about me — not in any roundabout way, but naming me 
right out. It seemed as if Jie knew just where I was 
and what I was doing. He said I was on the outskirts 
of the camp engaged in a sinful play ; not content with 
periling my own soul, but leading others down to 
destruction, also. The fellows looked at me ; one of 
them laughed, though his cheeks grew pale, and Jim 
Force, who had got up the game, but had been losing 
pretty steady, said I made it pretty profitable being a 
devil's decoy. But the other fellow spoke up, and 
though his lips were white and his eyes had a scared 
look in them, he said that wasn't fair ; Jim had got up 
the game himself and had coaxed the rest of them into 
it. * Which I couldn't have done,' sneered Jim, * if I 
hadn't known that Hod had a pack of cards in his 
pocket. It's a mighty smart game, I tell you, getting 
Seth to pray like a hurricane just as the luck's turning 
against him so as to scare the white-livered part of the 
crowd and break up the game. I suppose Seth gets part 
of the winnings for his share in the play.' 

" With that I took out my wallet and gave back to 
each just what they'd lost, taking out of Jim's share 
what he'd won from the others. Of course, this left 
him short ; for they had won something from him as the 
game went on — how much 1 didn't know nor care. But 
he insisted that I'd cheated, and one word brought on 
another — and — well, that was the cause of my fight with 



Solitude the Ntirse of Powc7\ 'j'^ 

Jim Force. I don't doubt but you've heard about it. 
He was bigger than I, and stouter ; but he lacked 
action. He wasn't in good condition, either. I'd been 
on the Lake ever since the season opened until harvest 
began, and swung a cradle every day after that. He'd 
been hanging around Kincaid's for two or three years, 
kind of tending bar — he was a relative of Marsh, you 
know — and taking the bigger part of his pay in what he 
could swallow, I guess. Anyhow, I got the better of him. 
As soon as we clinched, one of the fellows ran for the 
camp constable, and the others tried to stop us. Your 
father was the constable, and I knew I'd got to make 
quick work of it, or he'd be on before Jim got his lick- 
ing. So I caught a hip-lock on him, and when I threw 
him over on his head and shoulders, he kind of moaned, 
trembled and turned white as if he was dead. Just 
then I felt Seth's hand on my shoulder and knew 
I was under arrest. I knew he'd do his duty without 
flinching if I swung for it. 

*' I thought Jim was dead, and I tell you I felt pretty 
streaked ; but it turned out he only had his collar-bone 
broken and had fainted away. They fined us ten dol- 
lars apiece for fighting on the ground and ten more for 
gambling. It was awful hard on your pa. All his 
trouble with the church came out of that fight. He 
wouldn't stand Dan Marvin's jaw, and when they wanted 
him to say he was sorry for knocking him down, he said 
he couldn't tell a lie ; he'd done nothing but stand up 
for his kith and kin, and was only sorry he had to do it. 
Then they took away his license as an exhorter, think- 
ing that would bring him around. But they didn't 
know my brother Seth. He told 'em he didn't need the 
church to help him on the road to heaven, and just drew 
out, entirely. You can bet I felt bad, then. I promised 
fair and square never to turn a card again for money ; 



74 A Son of Old Harry. 

and I meant to keep my promise, too ; I did, in fact. 
But, bless you, boy, I ain't like your father. If he prom- 
ises a thing, it's as good as done, no matter how hard it 
may be. I ain't built that way. I can't stand tempta- 
tion, and it wasn't more than a month — just as soon as 
I felt blue water under me, in fact — that I was at it 
again. 

" Your pa's been the best brother in the world to me ; 
but it wasn't any use. I wasn't one of the * elect,' you 
see. That spur on my heel has been my undoing ; 
always itching and burning whenever I tried to be 
good, until I can't rest no more than a turkey on a hot 
slice. I haven't done anything so very bad, but I can't 
be good and pious and steady like Seth, and there ain't 
no use in trying. But I'm going to pay him back now 
for all he's done for me. I'll have to do it in my own 
way, though, because I can't do it in his. He's set his 
heart on your being a minister. I told him I didn't 
believe there was any sense in it, for, according to my 
judgment, you wasn't cut out for one. Of course, I 
don't know the points of a minister as well as I do those 
of a horse, but I'd a notion you'd do better as a steam- 
boat captain, or something of that sort, than you would 
as a salvation pilot. But he wouldn't listen to me, and 
I don't blame him. He says that no man can tell 
whether or not you'll get a ' call ;' but if you do, he 
wants you ready to answer prompt, like a soldier armed 
and equipped for duty ; and he made me promise that 
if he was taken away I'd see to it that you went to col- 
lege and came through all right. 

" I couldn't deny him anything, if I wanted to, and 
I'm going to do it. I owe it to him, you see. So you 
may just as well make up your mind that you are not 
going to be a jockey, nor have anything to do with 
horses, more than a little buying and selling at least, 



Solitude the Ntirse of Poiver. 75 



after we get through with this matter. Of course, 
there's no harm in buying and selling if you don't swap 
nor lie ; and I never could see why a circuit-rider 
shouldn't buy a colt every year, break him, put him in 
condition and double his value before he goes to con- 
ference the next year. But he must know all about a 
horse to do it, and that's why I've been giving you 
lessons. I should hate to see you taken in on a horse 
even if you were a minister. 

" I don't quite know how I'm to manage it, though. 
It would be easy enough if I could have my own way. 
That colt yonder is something altogether out of the 
common. If I could just take and enter him in a few 
good races at the East, we could make enough on him 
to settle the whole matter. But Seth won't allow that ; 
and I suppose it would hardly be the thing to raise 
money to educate a minister by betting on a horse. 

" I expect it will take a lot of money — I don't know 
how much, but they tell me them big colleges are very 
expensive. Then, too, you'll have to get ready. I 
fancy there'll be as much as ten or twelve years' steady 
schooling to pay for. You'll have to do the studying, 
and I'll contrive some way to get the money, or to hang 
on to it after it is made, rather, for that's the hardest 
part. Your mother'll have to be taken care of, too. 
She ain't such a manager as Ma was ; probably because 
Seth has always taken the brunt of everything on his 
shoulders." 

"■ Is my father going to die ?" asked the boy, with a 
wondering sob. 

" I hope not ; but I'm afraid he can't last long — a 
year or two, perhaps ; and the easier we can make 
things for him, the longer he is likely to stay with us. 
We'll clear off the mortgage ; I've no doubt of that, 
though there's nothing exactly certain about a race 



76 A Son of Old Hai^ry. 

until after it's run. That colt can beat the Gray Eagle, 
and a good deal better horse than the Gray Eagle, too. 
It's amazing how easy he gets over the ground ; but 
he's got an uncertain temper, and is just the kind of 
beast to up and bolt or do some kind of devilment at 
the wrong time. He minds you, because you've kind 
of grown up together, I s'pose ; and I think you can 
get the best out of him every time you ask for it. My 
notion is, after we've won this race, to enter him for 
some big event, win that, and then sell him. Seth 
couldn't object to that ; but in order to win, you might 
have to ride him, and that, I'm afraid, your father 
wouldn't consent to. You see, the rascal don't show his 
temper until he's crossed, and he seems to think that 
what you want done is just the thing he wants to do, 
no matter what it is ; but every time I get astride of 
him and try to make him do according to my notion, 
there's a row. Yet there ain't many men have a lighter 
touch on a horse than Hod Goodwin. If your father 
wouldn't insist on making you a son of Theophilus, we 
could make a pile on that colt this year and next ; and 
I allow you wouldn't be none the worse for it, either. 
I don't believe in making ministers of people who 
have got the mark of Old Harry on their heel, any- 
how, and you've got it ; I saw it when you were a little 
thing, not more than so long." 

Uncle Horace extended his hands as he spoke to show 
the infantile proportions. 

** It ain't so big nor so red as mine ; and I hope 
won't ever give you the trouble mine has given me ; 
.but after all, a boy having it is sure to get mixed up 
with horses sooner or later. I don't know why he 
shouldn't, either. What's the use of a man digging and 
delving and toiling for money when he can get it with- 
out ? I tried to show your father that he made a mis- 



" Thrown Backy JJ 

take coming to Ortonville. There never was any 
chance for anything here. Why didn't he buy up on 
the Lake Shore or somewhere, where there was some 
likelihood of lightning striking, and not come here to 
the very poorest spot in the State, where it is a dead 
certainty things will never be any better than they are 
now. I don't say he's too honest ; but a man ought 
to take advantage of his opportunity and get in the 
way of any good thing that is going, and not hunt a 
hole in the backwoods and crawl into it and draw the 
hole in after him. I've told him, over and over again, 
that if he had some of my riskiness, and I some of his 
steadiness, we'd both be a deal better off. But if he 
will be a child of Theophilus, I suppose I shall have to 
go on being a son of Old Harry — just to keep up the 
average, you know." 

" What makes you call him a child of Theophilus, if 
you're the son of Old Harry ? Wasn't his father yours, 
too ?" 

"Why, of course — but — didn't you ever hear that 
story about the Goodwins ?" 

The boy shook his head. 



CHAPTER V. 



THROWN BACK 



" You don't know about Sir Harry and Theophilus ?" 
repeated Uncle Horace, in surprise. 

"Never heard of either of them before to-night," said 
the lad, positively. 

" Well, well, that's queer. I didn't s'pose a Goodwin 



78 A Son of Old Harry. 

ever grew to your age without hearing that story. Per- 
haps your father didn't want you to know it, though I 
don't see why you shouldn't, especially as you have the 
mark ; but I don't know as I ought to tell you without 
his consent." 

" Please — please, Uncle Horace," urged the boy in an 
anxious tone. 

The young man rose from the pile of hay on which he 
was reclining, stirred the fire, took out an open-faced 
silver watch, looked at the hands by the firelight, 
glanced up at the sky where it showed through a rift in 
the green mass of foliage about them, went to look at 
the horses lying down in their stalls, and returning, said, 
as he sat down on the end of a log near the fire and 
refilled his pipe : 

" I never saw two horses get along together as well as 
that mare and the colt. She seems to feel that the 
responsibility is on her, and lets the young one know its 
business we're here for, not pleasure ; and he takes 
to it just as kindly as if he had been used to it all his 
life. Have you noticed how much they lie down ? 
That's the way with a good horse. One that don't lie 
down in training, won't do to bet on. He either gets so 
fine that he can't stand the pace, or so nervous that he 
can't be controlled. One would think, now. that the 
higher the condition a horse was in, the less he'd sleep, 
but it's right the other way ; the better the condition 
and the more work, if it's the right kind, the more a 
good horse will sleep. It's about as bad for a horse to 
fall off in his sleep as in his feed, unless it's one of the 
nervous sort that stay awake all night and stand nodding 
and staggering in the stall all day. It don't make any 
difference with those, because about the best thing that 
can be done with one of that sort is to hitch him to a 



" Thrown Back,'' 79 

plow and let him work at a walk until he gets sense 
enough to go to sleep when it comes night. 

** Now that colt of yours goes at it systematically, as if 
he knew what it all meant. He's up in the morning 
bright and early, asking for his breakfast ; takes his sup 
of water, eats his oats, and comes out stretching one leg 
after the other out behind him, making the ribs show, 
as he bends his back and draws in his wind with a yawn, 
for all the world like a hound which is just spoiling for 
a run. He's rested, you see. His muscles are live 
springs that fairly ache to be pulled and stretched. 
When you notice that, and find the white of the eyes 
clear and bright, and see the ears all in a quiver, or, if 
he's a little hot-tempered, lying flat on the head, and 
his mouth opening to show his teeth on the slightest 
provocation, and especially if he puts out a fore-leg, as 
if he couldn't stand still or was anxious to take boxing 
lessons, just touching the ground with the toe as he 
draws it back, first one foot and then the other, then, if 
his coat is shining and his hide soft, you may know a 
horse is in ' condition * or getting pretty near it. 

" That's the way with that colt, now. You'll observe 
that, after he's had an Itour's work, with a sharp little 
dash at the end, just to spread his lungs and clear his 
nostrils, and we bring him in and blanket him, give 
him another little sup, and let him munch his hay 
while we eat breakfast, he comes out to be rubbed 
down with a step as springy as a lady's on a danc- 
ing-floor, and is just as full of pranks as a kitten. 
And when every part of him has been rubbed and 
kneaded and washed and scraped, and he's stood in 
the pool a while to cool his legs, soften his hoofs and 
keep the fever out, drinking just as much as he's a 
mind to, and you bring him in, dry off his legs, and 
take him to his stall, you'll see him lie down, stretch 



8o A Son of Old Harry. 

out, and, perhaps, roll over once or twice ; then he'll 
curl himself up, and before you know it he's ofiE to 
sleep and nodding like a judge. He isn't tired ; he's 
just taking comfort. 

" When it comes dinner-time, he's ready for his feed, 
and in an hour afterward, is pawing and fretting for a 
chance to go. When a horse gets in * condition,' he's 
just got to go. He'll race with himself, try to outrun 
his shadow, or match himself against time along a 
worm-fence, if there's no other way. I've a notion he 
makes himself believe that the fence corners are trying 
to run by him. When you get a horse up to that point, 
he'll not only do his best, but he'll do it just as often as 
he has a chance to sleep up and get the spring back 
into his muscles and tendons. But he's got to have 
sleep. There isn't any feed or physic that'll take the 
place of that. So I always want a horse I'm training 
to be w^here there isn't much going on. One or two 
other horses, just for company, you know ; but no 
crowd and no lights. When a horse lies down after 
supper, he wants it dark — dark and still ; and then, if 
he's in condition and the right kind of a horse to put 
money on, you'll find him lying as still as a mouse until 
the birds sing and he begins to whinny for his oats 
in the morning. They've both laid down now, but 
they won't be ready to go to sleep for half an hour yet. 
They are just taking comfort lying there, listening to 
our talk." 

The boy laughed at the idea. 

" You don't think they care about that, eh ? That's 
because you don't understand horse-nature. I don't 
mean to say that they comprehend exactly what we say, 
though they make out a good deal from the tones. For 
instance, they know whether we are angry or good- 
natured. If I should begin to scold you now, they'd be 



Thrown Back.'" 



on their feet in two minutes. I saw a fight in a stable 
once where there was a string of thoroughbreds. It 
didn't last more than five minutes — just a lively fist- 
and-skull affair. The horses were in box-stalls with 
square holes in the front so they could look out on the 
big barn-floor where the fight occurred, but couldn't be 
hit nor hurt. I hardly ever saw a set of men take more 
interest in a row than those horses did. They listened 
to the quarrel, and, when the fighting began, there was 
almost as much excitement in the stalls as on the floor. 
The horses puffed and blovved ; some of 'em kicked, and 
when it was over, half of those colts were in a tremble 
of excitement, much as if they had been children who 
weren't accustomed to family rows. 

" Now you think those horses don't enjoy hearing us 
talk, perhaps. Just let me light my pipe, and we'll walk 
around the foot of the hill out of sight, and keep still 
awhile and see what they'll say." 

He took up a hickory splinter, the end of which was 
a glowing coal, and pressed it on his pipe. 

" Come on, now," he said, as he rose and led the way. 
They walked on until the base of the hill shut the 
cabin from view ; a moment later their voices died 
away, and all was still at the training stable. An owl 
lighted upon a limb of an old chestnut just across the 
brook from the silent sugar-house, and hooted out his 
challenge to the fire-lit camp. Presently the colt 
whinnied a low, inquiring call. 

" Keep still," said Uncle Horace. " He thinks we'll 
answer him ; but he's got to call louder than that before 
we do. There he goes again. What do you think of 
that, now ?" 

It was a loud, impatient call this time, and was 
seconded by one somewhat less imperious from the 
Queen. 



82 A Son of Old Harry. 

" You see the old mare is getting anxious, too. There, 
the colt has got up to see if he can't wind us. She's up, 
too, and they're calling to us in the imperative mood, 
now. You answer the colt, and I'll whistle to Queenie 
next time, and then we must hurry back, for it won't 
do to let them get too excited at this hour ; they 
wouldn't sleep a wink all night if they did," 

They hastened back, to find the horses standing up, 
pawing and looking eagerly around, their bright eyes 
flashing in the firelight, as if making inquiry about the 
absence of their guardians. 

" There," said Uncle Horace, laying down his pipe 
upon the jamb of the stone arch, " I'll leave the pipe 
there. I think horses generally like the smell of 
tobrcco smoke if it isn't too strong ; but it certainly 
makes them dull to have too much of it, especially in 
their stalls. I wouldn't allow a man to smoke in a sta- 
ble, but I've seen a horse follow a stranger all about a 
paddock for a whiff of his cigar. A horse is very sensi- 
tive about smells, as well as sights and sounds. Let's 
go in now so they can see we're all right, and while 
they're quieting down, I'll finish my pipe and tell you 
about Sir Harry. It's time you knew something about 
the Goodwin pedigree, anyhow. 

** Now," continued the uncle, resuming his pipe and 
seating himself on a huge stump that served also as a 
corner-post of the cabin, " what was it you wanted to 
know about ? O, yes, I remember. You asked why I 
called your father a child of Theophilus and myself a 
son of Old Harry. Yes, we had the same father and 
mother ; but, you see, that's a sort of superstition, or 
rather, a tradition of the family. The Goodwins are 
never alike. There's always some black sheep among 
the white ones. The white sheep we call the children 
of Theophilus, and the black ones the sons of Old 



" Thrown Back:' 83 

Harry. They're always sons — never daughters, at least 
I never heard of any — and there is always one in each 
generation who has Old Harry's mark on him. The 
children of Theophilus are just about the whitest lambs 
that were ever born into the world. Your father is one 
of that kind, I think a speck on his fleece, even if it 
was so small that nobody else could see it, would mighty 
near kill him. I'm not anyway sure that it wasn't the 
trouble with the church over the licking of Dan Marvin 
that brought on his sickness. The children of Theo- 
philus are all that way. They may be hard-headed and 
strong-limbed, but they are thin-skinned — always 
thin-skinned and tender-bitted. They don't always 
get along well in the world, though they are the most 
industrious and deserving people that ever lived. Do 
all they can, they don't ever seem to get forehanded, 
though they're always pinching themselves and doing 
without what they want and sometimes what they need 
in order to get ahead. 

'* The sons of Old Harry aren't that kind of folks ; 
they aren't near so good. They grade all the way from 
just kind of soiled and smutched to dead solid black — 
from mere sinners to great rascals. They're never 
forehanded, either, but they always have enough, and 
its generally about the best that's going, too. They 
don't own lands and houses, but they are sure to be 
good horsemen and generally have a good time while 
alive, without much thought of what may come after- 
ward. They're almost always good-natured, and nearly 
everybody likes them, though but few speak well of 
them. The fact is, there's always a mistake somewhere 
in making up the family record. If the children 
of Theophilus weren't quite so good and the sons 
of Old Harry were just a little better, it would 
be a great advantage to the stock and no harm to the 



84 A Son of Old Harry. 

world — so far as I can see, at least." Horace looked 
into the fire and sighed deeply. 

'* But what makes you call my father a child of Theo- 
philus ?" asked the boy, impatiently, looking up from the 
block of wood which served him as a stool. 

" O, yes, I 'most forget what I set out to tell you," 
said the uncle, starting from his reverie. " Well, you 
see, the Goodwins are an old family — about as old as 
any in the country, I guess. I don't know as any of 
'em came over in the Mayflower — you've heard of the 
Mayflower V 

" * The breaking waves dashed high 
On a stern and rock-bound coast ; 
The trees against a stormy sky 
Their giant branches tossed !' " 

quoted the boy, in shrill, quavering tones, that told how 
often he had declaimed the lines. 

" Exactly," said the uncle, nodding approval. " Well, 
I don't know whether the Goodwins were amongst that 
first company or not, but they weren't far behind. And 
before they came to this country they were very respect- 
able people in England — that is, I take it they were 
respectable — for the first we knew about them — or the 
first I ever heard of them — was of Sir Harry Goodwin, 
or Godwin rather, for that was the way he spelled the 
name, who was the Master of Horse for King Charles — 
that's a sort of military officer who had command of the 
cavalry. The story is that he was a pretty tough cus- 
tomer, as was natural in those times, a hard-hitter and 
about the best horseman in the whole army of gay 
Cavaliers. 

" They say at one of the battles with the Roundheads 
— I forget which — he advised the king, when things were 
getting bad for them, to charge with his whole army — 



" Throw 71 Back" 



rignt, left and centre — and end the business then and 
there. You see he knew the Cavaliers, as they called 
King Charles's men, were better on the charge than on 
the defense ; and he thought if he drove in the enemy's 
flankers, they would get all tangled up in a certain lane 
somewhere about the center of their line, so that all the 
king's men would have to do would be to kill them off 
until there wasn't enough left to carry on the war, and 
then the king could just go back to London town and 
carry on as he'd always been doing — riding rough -shod 
over people and Parliament. They say King Charles 
agreed to this, and Sir Harry rode back to his horse- 
soldiers and charged with them as he promised to do, 
but the king stood still and waited to see what would 
come of it, instead of pitching in to help them. The 
consequence was that Sir Harry's men got all cut up 
and the king ran away. Charles blamed it all on Prince 
Rupert, they say, claiming that he didn't obey orders ; 
but everybody believes it was the fickle king's own 
fault, who never knew his own mind and was always 
willing to sacrifice a friend to save himself. 

" The Master of the Horse was reported killed, but 
he wasn't — only badly wounded — and, as it happened, 
one of Cromwell's pious troopers took charge of him ; 
he had been wounded himself, and so didn't have to 
march with the rest of the army. When the Cavalier 
got well, it was Hobson's choice, I s'pose, whether he'd 
own up who he was and have his neck stretched, or join 
the psalm-singers and fight against Charles. Of 
course, he didn't feel very kindly toward the king, who 
had left him in the lurch, and he'd been so near death 
that he probably thought it might be well enough to 
forsake his bad ways and take on a little religion for the 
rest of the voyage ; for, although Charles himself was 
well enough and even inclined to religion of some sort 



86 A Son of Old Harry. 

at times, he seems to have had a pretty tough crowd 
around him, and Sir Harry, it is said, was the worst 
roysterer of them all. Besides, he had been one of 
Staffords's men and probably thought he stood to be 
abandoned by the king sooner or later, as the great earl 
had been. It seems he'd been plundered while he lay 
on the field, and so had nothing about him to show his 
rank, or even that he was a Cavalier, except his long 
hair. This all came out with the fever that followed 
his wound, and left his head as bare as a bird's eye, 
except a little scruff as white as snow around the neck 
from ear to ear. When his beard and mustache had 
been cut off and he began to crawl around in plain 
clothes, nobody recognized him as the dashing leader of 
the king's horse, but everybody took him for one of 
Cromwell's private soldiers. 

" Well, the upshot of it was that he was converted 
and made a confident of the sergeant who had charge 
of him, and between the two it was fixed up that he 
should 'make a profession' and join Cromwell's own 
company of horse, called the Ironsides, It was the 
custom in those days, it seems, especially among the 
very religious crowd that followed Cromwell and the 
Parliament, to take all sorts of outlandish names on 
making a profession of belief and being baptized. As 
they considered it a new birth, they thought it was 
no harm to take new names. So men called them- 
selves, * Smite-them-to-the-quick Jones,' Praise-God 
Barebones;' and our Sir Harry, to keep up the fashion 
and hide himself at the same time no doubt, dropped 
his name and title and called himself Theophilus Good- 
win, which wasn't so very bad, being a modest enough 
name, which means God-lover. I s'pose he put the 
other * o' in * Godwin' as the easiest way of disguising 



" Thrown Back?' 87 



the name without getting far enough away from it to 
keep him from harking back if he ever wanted to. 

'* Indeed, I've heard it said that one of his reasons for 
the change might have been — I don'6 say it was — to 
save, a nice little estate, which would go to his son if he 
was accounted dead, in case the king should prevail, 
and which he could claim if the Parliament came out 
ahead. 

" I don't suppose either of these motives were entirely 
responsible for his changing his coat and his religion at 
the same time. Probably men acted then as they do 
now, from a variety of motives, of which very often the 
one that seems the weakest is really the strongest. At 
any rate, there seems to be no doubt that Theophilus 
Goodwin served the people and Parliament just as faith- 
fully as Sir Harry Godwin had served the king. Crom- 
well knew a good soldier, and didn't leave the new 
convert very long in the ranks. Perhaps he knew the 
old swordsman in spite of his bare face and bald head, 
or perhaps Sergeant Comfort-ye-my-people Jacobson 
did not keep the secret as well as he might. Crom- 
well had a strange way of finding out things, they say. 
At any rate, he was soon promoted to a company, then 
to a troop, and presently given a regiment of his own ; 
so that Colonel Theophilus Goodwin became about as 
big a man with the Roundheads as Sir Harry Godwin 
had been with the Cavaliers. 

" But, after a while, they had a worse fight than they 
had ever had before, at a place called Naseby. Old Sir 
Harry had a son, a hot-tempered lad, hardly sixteen, 
who joined the king's horse as soon as he heard his 
father was killed, and had been made a comet, partly 
for the sake of his father, and partly because he showed 
himself as brave as Julius Caesar. When the Round- 
heads under Colonel Theophilus charged the king's men 



88 A Son of Old Harry. 

in this last fight, they found young Harry Godwin in 
the lead, just crazy with the notion of avenging his 
father's death. He couldn't help seeing who the leader 
of the psalm-singers was, for the old fighter was always 
in the front, I take it, and he went for him just as 
straight as an arrow. His father knew him, of course, 
as soon as he set eyes on him, and tried to get away, 
but it was no use. The boy was on him hacking and 
hewing with his sword, before he could turn aroimd. 
Of course, Colonel Goodwin wouldn't strike back, but 
just tried to parry the blows, until, finally, the same 
sergeant who had nursed him when he was woimded, 
came up and gave the boy a death-blow before the 
father could call out to stop him, thinking, no doubt, 
that he was doing his officer a great favor. 

" That was the last of Colonel Theophilus. That bat- 
tle ended the war. He quit the army ; went off and 
hid himself somewhere for a time, and finally came to 
this country. He was a hard, stem man, always pray- 
ing to be forgiven for the death of the boy he loved. 
Yet, he married again, and had two sons afterward. 
One of them, they say, was as sober as anybody could 
wish ; but the other, who was born with a red spur on 
his heel, took to wild ways, went to sea and came to a 
bad end along with a gang of pirates, somewhere in the 
West Indies. After this the old man concluded he had 
committed the ' unpardonable sin,' in having caused his 
oldest son's death, and that on account of this a curse 
rested on his children and their descendants forever ; 
one son always being predestined to go to the devil. 

" In this he wasn't far wrong — at least, he hadn't 
been up to this time. Ever since there has been one in 
every generation of the Goodwins who has been a black 
sheep ; not always very bad ; but shiftless and reckless, 
instead of being steady and restaectable. Queer 



" Thrown Back'^ 89 

enough, too, this has always been the one born with the 
mark of the red spur on his left heel. So we call them 
the sons of Old Harry, because they are likely to turn 
out something like the old Master of the Horse; and the 
others we call the children of Theophilus, because they 
are always glum and sober — the * select infants,' pre- 
destined to salvation. They are like the old fighter 
was after he turned Puritan and sang psalms." 

'' Am I a son of Old Harry, uncle ?" asked the boy, 
who had listened with almost breathless interest to his 
uncle's narrative, in an anxious tone. 

" It's hard to tell," answered the uncle, seriously. 
" You've got the mark, and nobody who's had that on 
his heel has ever yet been able to get along without 
showing some signs of it in his ways." 

The boy turned his left foot to the firelight and care- 
fully scrutinized the heel. A narrow line of red ran 
along on each side almost to the hollow of the foot, 
branching downward in front of the heel and upward 
toward the instep. 

" 'Tain't nothing compared with mine," said the 
man, gravely, " and I've been told mine wasn't any- 
thing to compare with what they used to have. I've 
heard that one of the worst of 'em had a heel as red as 
if it had been parboiled. Mine don't trouble me much 
except during the racing season — it gets pretty hot, 
then." 

He drew off his boot and held the foot toward the 
light as he spoke. The mark was heavier and redder 
than on the boy's, and had an unmistakable likeness to 
a spur. 

** Does one have to be bad who has that mark .?" asked 
the lad. 

" Pshaw, no. I don't s'pose it makes any difference. 
It's probably the unsteadiness that makes the mark 



90 A Soft of Old Harry. 

talked about ; though there's something in the idea 
that if you give a dog a bad name he'll deserve it. I 
suppose every Goodwin with that beauty spot on his 
heel has been told this very story until he has come to 
think himself elected to-go to the devil anyhow, and so 
don't try to do anything better." 

" Do you think so, Uncle Horace ?" 

" Well, as I said, I don't believe it was my heel that 
affected me. I guess I was naturally unsettled and 
trifling. I've sometimes thought that if your father 
had known just how to manage me I might have been 
a credit to the family ; but he didn't, and he ain't to 
blame for it. Religion and hard work are just about 
all he thinks a man is fit for. I didn't take to either ; 
but if he'd encouraged me to trade, I tell you what it is, 
I believe I'd have made my Jack long ago — I do, for a 
fact. But here I am, nigh thirty, and not been able to 
settle down yet. It really does begin to look as if I 
was likely to be one of Old Harry's genuine red- 
heeled, no-account Goodwins that thinks more of a 
horse than he does of a home, and more of his liberty 
than he does of his soul. I s'pose that's the reason I've 
never married. Very few of that sort of Goodwins do ; 
and I guess it would be as well if none of 'em did. 
Them that have married didn't make any too good hus- 
bands." 

There was a moment's silence. The owl hooted from 
the chestnut-stub opposite, and a fox barked up the 
valley. 

" Uncle Horace," said the boy, firmly, " I'm not going 
to be a son of Old Harry." 

" Think you have struck back to Theophilus, eh ?" 

" No ; I don't want to be a minister, either ; but I'm 
not going to be a son of Old Harry." 

" I hope you won't, but you've got the mark," said 



" Thrown Back'^ 91 

the uncle, as he rose, put up his pipe and drew the ashes 
over the fire with a wooden scraper. " Of course," he 
continued, ** it will wear out some time — the mark, I 
mean, and it is mighty faint with you. Besides, you've 
got lots of the Howel blood in you — that was ma's 
family, you know — steady, forehanded folks, not very 
pious, but always well to-do. Seth and I have often 
spoken about it. You look like 'em, especially like Uncle 
Hubert, that's why he gave you the name, and the older 
you grow the more you act like 'em, too. He was rich ; 
everything he touched turned ifito money without any 
effort ; didn't seem to make any difference what it was. 
I think you're lucky, too, and I hope you'll succeed in 
whatever you undertake ; but you mustn't ever forget 
you're Seth Goodwin's son. It's time to turn in now, 
and give Old Harry a rest ; the colt'll be calling you 
before you're ready to turn out, if you don't get to snor- 
ing soon." 

Long after they had retired to their beds of straw and 
drawn the heavy blankets over them, the boy lay awake 
thinking of what he had heard, and praying that he 
might be spared the mysterious fate which the mark of 
the old Master of the Horse stamped on one of every 
generation of his descendants. Prayer was almost as 
natural an act to him as respiration. From his earliest 
memory he had heard the voice of supplication morn- 
ing and evening. The story he had just heard shed 
light upon many a passionate invocation to which he 
had listened. He knew now why his father so often 
prayed with such earnest tenderness for his uncle 
Horace and himself. He understood, or thought he did, 
the oft-recurring petition that the " mark of the beast " 
might be washed out by the " blood of the Lamb." He 
prayed now with childish simplicity that his father's 
petition might be heard, and the fatal mark lose its 



92 A Son of Old Harry. 

power with him, and had no doubt that his prayer would 
be answered. He did not wish to be a child of The- 
ophilus, but he promised, sobbingly, to be a very good 
man, if he might only be spared from becoming a son 
of Old Harry ; and with this petition on his lips he fell 
asleep. 



CHAPTER VI. 

KARMA OR ATAVIA, 

The student of heredity in the human family is ever 
and anon confounded with seeming miracles. The 
weakest lives sometimes produce the strongest ; and the 
converse is so often true that science has finally been 
compelled to abandon one of its favorite hypotheses 
and admit that, so far as man is concerned at least, the 
rule of upward gradation may be forever broken by a 
single instance of unusual brilliancy. So it has come to 
be an accepted corollary of the hereditability of human 
attributes that the over-taxed brain cannot give forth 
a healthful life. But there are worse puzzles than this 
which the scientific observer must meet. In spite of 
the principle that like produces like, we meet every day 
with instances of unlikeness so startling as to confound 
the observer, and, for a time at least, destroy all faith in 
scientific theories of life. From the most unpromising 
stocks we see springing up the most consummate flowers 
of human perfection. Whence come they ? Is the 
mystery of life wholly insoluble, or is the oriental 
dogma of pre-existence true ? On what theory shall 



Karma or Atavia. 93 

we account for Delia, the sweet, gentle daughter of 
Marshall Kincaid and his wife Olivia ? 

" King Marsh," as he was nicknamed by a punning 
abbreviation of both Christian name and surname, was 
a man of striking appearance and pronounced charac- 
teristics. He was of powerful build ; so broad as to 
create the impression that he was of less than average 
height, though in truth considerably above it ; some- 
what inclined to flesh, but of remarkable activity. His 
thick, round neck, which rose from a pair of mighty 
shoulders, bore a head as evenly balanced as if its cen- 
tre of gravity were never shifted, which was covered 
with a heavy shock of reddish hair, among which the 
white was beginning to show. His round, full face 
was smooth -shaven, and except in the coldest of weather, 
he was usually found with his sleeves rolled above his 
elbows, and not unfrequently barefooted, his hairy 
breast showing beneath the white, unlaundried shirt. 
His small grey eyes, thin lips and upward-pointing 
nose gave character to a face by no means repellent, 
but which, studied in detail, gave a clew to his success. 

Marshall Kincaid had set out early in life to become 
a rich man. He had far enough to go, for his family 
was of the poorest ; but he had strength, cunning, 
unscrupulousness and will. He had a fair education for 
those days. He had mastered the three R's, and that 
was enough. Knowledge was to him a thing for use, not 
ornament. It was no wonder he had prospered. He 
had no thought for anything but gain, and to that gave 
night and day, never sparing himself. After a hard 
day's work at the store, he would, perhaps, lie down 
upon the counter and catch a few hours' sleep ; rise, 
harness, his horse and by daylight be twenty-five miles 
away, still sleeping in the buggy, m which he sat bolt 
Upright, 



94 ^ '^071 of Old Harry. 

His wife was a fit mate for so marked a character. 
Thin-visaged, tall, sharp -tongned, and with keen, beady- 
eyes set close beside the narrow promontory that ran 
down from the low, angular forehead and threateningly 
overhung the thin line of the mouth below, around 
either comer of which the wrinkles gathered in radiat- 
iiig" groups. Her hair was black almost to blueness, 
but fine and thin. Her nature was one that could not 
tolerate profusion in anything. She was as unscrupu- 
lous as her husband and twice as keen and hard ; so 
people said. What he made, that she kept. What he 
did not think of, that she suggested. What he was 
unable to do, she never left undone. If he was absent 
from the store, she attended to it. If he was occupied 
with the store, she looked after the tavern. 

The one thing in which they differed was his fancy 
for a good horse. It was his sole extravagance — his 
one fault, his wife said. Though he had sold more 
liquor than any man for miles around, he boasted he 
had never tasted a drop. Many a famous game had 
been played in his house, he watching the players' 
hands and sharing their excitement ; but he never 
turned a card. 

The fair-haired Delia — the parents called her Deely 
— was the one ray of sunshine in their lives. The 
mother had heard that there was some magic potency 
in a hundred brush-strokes a day bestowed upon the 
golden coils, and the hard hands were never too weary 
to give them, nor the lips too cold to intersperse 
them with fierce, hot kisses. 

As for the father, he dreamed of her, in hard, self- 
glorying phrases sang her praise, and saw his toils 
and sacrifices rewarded in the triumphs and attainments 
he meant she should possess through his endeavor. 
Both parents were agreed that she should be the most 



Karma or Atavia. 95 

accomplished, as she would be the richest, and wa^ 
already the fairest girl in all the country round. The 
mother exulted and planned social triumphs, as well as 
material supremacy. For her sake they attended 
" meeting " regularly. For her sake the father toler- 
ated the aristocracy of the East village, though he still 
used the name of " Skunk Holler " to designate it. For 
her sake he subscribed liberally to the select school ; 
for her sake Seth Goodwin had been " accommodated," 
when in need of fiinds, and Mrs. Kincaid had " put her- 
self out " to be on good terms with timid Mrs. Goodwin. 
An intimacy had grown up between the boy and the 
girl, therefore, which was strengthened by their attend- 
ance at the same school and the boy's fancy for the 
horses which thronged the inn-keeper's stable. Thus 
Delia became the ambassadress sent forth by Kincaid's 
to secure for the magnate and his wife the social rank 
which they had been too busy with material accumula- 
tion to acquire before. 

" I'm goin' to send her to school over there just as 
long as they can teach her anything," Marsh Kincaid 
would say to his group of coarse-grained followers, as 
Delia passed by the door with her books, on her way to 
the select school ; " which, at the gait she's showin', 
won't be long, I take it. Then she's goin' to the best 
schools that can be scared up at the East, and if that 
don't satisfy her, by George, if there's anything better 
across the frog-pond that she wants she shall have that, 
too ! I'll just let people know that King Marsh has the 
best of everything that's going. I reckon they'll open 
their eyes when I get through polishin' her off. She 
hain't bad to look at now. Just see how she picks her 
way among them bi^-footed, slab-sided, soft-headed 
Skunk Holler young uns, who have been raised on piety 
until they're so tender you can't look at 'em without 



96 A Son of Old Harry. 

their wiltin' like cabbage-plants in a June sun. She's 
got sense and pluck, too, if she isn't anything but a 
feather-weight. Why, she ain't 'leven year old yet, but 
she rides like a jockey. Took to it naturally, you see. 
She wasn't a month old 'fore I took her in my arms for 
a canter, and by the time she could toddle she'd laugh 
and crow if I offered her a chance to ride. Ever since 
she's been big enough to clamber up my leg, she's been 
on a horse most every day, and hasn't no more fear of 
one than if she'd been raised in a stable. I bought her 
a pony a year ago — she's the only gal in town that's got 
one — and she rides all over the country, till there ain't 
a man, woman or child, for ten miles around, that don't 
know King Marsh's gal and black pony just as well as 
they do the dog in their own door-yard. 

" I'm goin' to get a planner for her the day she's 
twelve years old, if I have to send to New York and hire 
a feller by the day to teach her to play it. Ain't no 
need of that ? Well, perhaps not. I hain't made up my 
mind yet ; but I ain't a-goin' to have no common key- 
thumper teachin' her. Everything's got to be A Num- 
ber I that she has, and when she's finished off, we'll 
see who does the braggin', 

" She's first chop in school now. There ain't one of 
her age that's up with her, except that boy of Goodwin's, 
and he's most a year older. He's a smart chap, though 
— smart as a whip, and knows a horse, too. Takes after 
his uncle Hod there ; and Hod's a deal smarter than 
Seth, if he'd only stick to something, or go in with 
somebody that would furnish the stick for him. Them 
two children's just as thick as if they was twins ; always 
together when they're not in school, until Seth tuk sick 
and the boy had to stay out. Deely's mourned about it 
all the time, and been up to see him 'most every Satur- 
day all winter. Don't know what I'll do if I have to sell 



Karma or Atavia. 97 

Seth out. 'Spect it'll most break her heart ; but busi- 
ness is business, and I guess she'll get over it." 

Whence came into those hard lives the spark of love- 
liness which lightened and sweetened the air of Kin- 
caid's? Had some forgotten stream of noble blood 
flowed for ages in coarse, ignoble veins, to show at last 
in the artless sprite who charmed by her grace and won 
by a gentle prescience beyond her years and apparently 
at war with her origin ? It was merely one of the 
mysteries no man may solve ; one of kindly Nature's 
riddles, who delights to hang jewels in s wines' noses. 

It was a few days before the time set for the race, 
when, one morning, Horace Goodwin and his nephew 
beheld a most unexpected apparition. The morning's 
work with the horses was over ; they had eaten their 
breakfast, and the uncle was enjoying his pipe, when 
around the corner of the bluff came dashing a black 
pony, bearing a slender, bright-eyed girl, whose shining 
hair fell in a cataract of curls about her shoulders. 

Horace Goodwin dropped his pipe, and, with a mut- 
tered imprecation, sprang up, rushed into the sugar- 
house, and shut the door which led to the stalls. At 
first they had been very careful to keep this closed, in 
order to preclude the possibility of observation, but 
they had been so undisturbed that they had grown care- 
less. Startled by his uncle's movement, the boy looked 
around, and despite his surprise and the apprehension he 
felt for the consequences, he could not keep his face 
from lightening as he saw the shoit-limbed, shaggy 
pony cantering easily toward him, and recognized the 
light figure swaying to and fro upon his back, while the 
bright face above beamed with exultation. 

" Well, I've found you at last," she exclaimed, with 
quiet satisfaction, as she reined in her pony beside the 
nonplused lad, who had risen from the log on which he 



98 A Son of Old Harry. 

had been sitting, and now stood looking up at her as if 
the power of speech had been suddenly taken from him. 
How absolute is the rule of imperious and precocious 
girlhood over awkward and bewildered boyhood ! Delia 
Kincaid knew that she dazzled Jack Goodwin's eyes 
as the sun-god does his worshipers, and enjoyed his 
confusion to the fullest extent. 

" You thought you could hide from me, did you ?" she 
asked, mischievously shaking her whip at him. " You 
are a bad boy and ought to be punished. Won't you 
whip him for me, Mr. Goodwin ?" 

She addressed her inquiry with artless simplicity to 
Uncle Horace, who at that moment re-appeared from 
within the sugar-house, his brow clothed with a frown 
as black as midnight. 

" I'd like to thrash — somebody," he growled, sav- 
agely. 

" Me, perhaps," laughed the saucy sprite, conscious of 
the annoyance her presence had given. " Now, Uncle 
Horace, I think you are real mean ! Just think how 
long it has been since you saw me ?" 

"I could have stood it a few days longer," he 
answered, grimly, though the cloud on his brow was 
evidently lightening. Jack stood twisting a button of 
his jacket, as he looked from one to the other. Horace 
Goodwin had been " Uncle Horace " to the girl as well 
as to Jack almost ever since she could remember. His 
pleasant ways had won her heart, and his feats of 
horsemanship, together with the vague notion that his 
wanderings had covered the greater part of the earth's 
surface, had made her a breathless listener to the 
stories he told, and led her to regard him with hardly 
less of hero-worship than his nephew himself. 

" Why, Uncle Horace !" exclaimed the girl, reproach- 
fully, while the tears gathered in her eyes. 



Karma or Atavia. 99 

"There, there, Deely," said the man, subdued at once 
by her grief : " I didn't mean anything. You mustn't 
take on that way. Won't you get down ?" 

" No, I won't !" sobbed the girl, angrily ; " I've been 
sitting here ever so long, and you haven't asked me 
before — neither of you. I thought you would be lone- 
some and glad to see me ; but you aren't — nor Jack, 
either," she answered spitefully. " I'm going home, 
and when you see me again — I — I — guess you'll be glad ! 
Come Dick !" 

She lifted the reins and gave a vicious pull across the 
pony's neck, to indicate that he was to turn instantly 
and leave at the same accelerated pace at which he had 
arrived. But the pony had ideas of his own. While 
she had been talking, he had been sniffing at the hand 
with which Jack had been unconsciously caressing the 
black muzzle. Dick found himself among friends, and 
had no notion of leaving until he had partaken of their 
hospitality. So, instead of heeding his mistress's 
demand, he put his nose down, turned his sharp-pointed 
ears back upon his neck, and shook his head until they 
were almost hidden in the flowing mane, while his 
black eyes shone like ebon sparks set in ivory rings. 
At the same time he gave a threatening hitch with his 
hind feet, as if to indicate what would be the next step 
in his remonstrance. 

"Whoa!" exclaimed Jack, instinctively reaching his 
hand for the bridle. 

Uncle Horace laughed ; he had no fear for the little 
lady's safety. He had given her too many lessons, and 
knew the tricks of the pony too well for that. 

" You, Dick !" exclaimed the miniature horsewoman, 
angrily. "Let him alone, Jack ! I'll teach him." 

The slender rawhide which she carried came down 
with the full force of her arm on the pony's flank as 



]oo A Son of Old Harry. 

she spoke, and his threat of an uprising in the rear was 
instantly fulfilled. Then the reins were tightened, and 
the curb forced his head up and his mouth apart. The 
lips curled away from the white teeth and the red nostrils 
showed like coals of fire in his black muzzle. Still the 
blows fell upon the quivering flank. Then he reared 
and pawed the air until the black hoofs and shining 
shoes were lifted above the head of the boy, who instinc- 
tively stepped backward to avoid them, still keeping his 
eyes anxiously riveted upon the girlish form in the sad- 
dle. The blows rained faster still upon the exposed 
flank, and when the fore-feet touched the earth again, 
the pony wheeled and bolted along the path by which 
he had come, glad to escape from the tingling strokes. 

The boy darted after them, but his uncle called him 
back. 

" Never mind," he said. " She's all right ; the pony 
'11 forget what he got mad about before he's gone forty 
rods. It's the way with them Canucks ; they're hot and 
peppery, and cute and tricky too, sometimes, but they 
know when they've got a boss, and Deely knows she's 
boss of that one. We've got something else to think 
about, now," he added seriously. 

"What's that?" asked the boy, noting his uncle's 
grave tone and the look of concern on his face. 

" What ?" exclaimed the other in surprise. " Why, 
we've got to think where we'll go and what we'll do." 

" Where we'll go ?" 

" Yes ; where we'll go," repeated the uncle, pettishly, 
sitting down upon the big stump, picking up his pipe 
and filling it absently, his eyes roaming over the ground 
as if in search of something he could not find. " You 
don't s'pose we can stay here after Marsh Kincaid's 
daughter's had a glimpse of us, do you ? She's no fool ; 
^nd before an hour i§ past he'll knqw just where we are, 



Karma or Atavia. loi 

and then there's nine chances to one that our cake '11 be 
all dough. I know Marsh Kincaid. If he thinks the 
colt's likely to beat Gray Eagle — and he'll know there 
ain't a chance for anything else the minute he sees him 
at work — why, there won't be any colt to run when the 
day comes." 

" How can he help it ?" 

" Help it ! Wouldn't a rifle-ball out of the bushes 
help it any morning or afternoon ? 1 guess there 
wouldn't be anything to fear from the colt after that," 
said the man bitterly. " Lucky I've got friends who 
won't go back on me. The trouble is to get to them 
without leaving any trace." 

There was a clatter of hoofs around the corner of 
the bluff, and Horace Goodwin rose uneasily, stepped 
inside the cabin and took down the rifle that hung upon 
a couple of wooden hooks above the doorway. Half 
unconsciously he flung the bullet-pouch and powder- 
horn over his shoulder at the same time. The region 
was not wild or lawless, but its sparsely settled char- 
acter gave opportunity for acts of violence not known in 
more thickly inhabited countries. And everywhere the 
utmost care must be exercised to protect the race-horse 
in preparation from his enemies. The man who bets 
upon a race is as unscrupulous as any other gambler, 
and steed and rider are subject to many perils. The 
deadly poison, the enervating drug, the weakening irri- 
tant may come to him in food or drink ; may be sifted 
down upon him from the loft above or ejected on him 
as he passes by at work. The smith is bribed to prick 
him in shoeing ; the groom to knuckle him or even to 
drop leaden pellets in his ears to make him frantic with 
pain ; the rider to vex his temper or cause him to injure 
himself by a misstep. On every side the racer is encom- 
passed with danger. Eternal vigilance is the only 



I02 A Soji of Old Harry. 

safety for the man who backs a favorite. The risk is 
half over when a horse comes safely to the start and 
gets the word, without untoward accident. 

It is told of a horse which became famous about the 
time of our story, that for weeks before a great event 
the owner always locked his groom and a bull-dog in the 
stall with him, slept himself in the stable, and passed all 
that the horse ate or drank into the stall with his own 
hand, after making a personal test of its qualities. It is 
not to be wondered at, therefore, that Horace Goodwin, 
mindful of these things, was somewhat nervous over the 
incident that had just occurred. If he had any impres- 
sion that their privacy was at once to be invaded by 
others, however, it was quickly dispelled. 

Around the corner of the bluff came again the black 
pony, still at his utmost speed. The rider drew him to 
his haunches in front of the boy, and stretching out her 
arms to him jumped to the ground. Snatching up her 
habit she ran impulsively to the man and said : 

" Don't be cross at me. Uncle Horace." 

She looked up at him so pleadingly that he forgot his 
chagrin, stooped and kissed her, 

" Nobody could be cross at such a witch as you, 
Deely," he said. 

" I am glad of that," she rejoined, turning her head 
archly on one side. " I didn't know but you were going 
to shoot me." 

She glanced meaningly at the rifle. Uncle Horace 
flushed a trifle, but answered carelessly enough : 

" Oh, I was just going out to get some squirrels for a 
pot-pie. I heard a gobbler up the hollow this morning, 
too." 

" Then I'll stay with Jack until you come back," said 
the girl, turning with a pleased look at her playmate. 



Karma or Atavia. 103 

" I may be gone a good while," answered Uncle 
Horace, uneasily. 

" Well, I haven't seen him in a long time, and have 
got lots of things to tell him. I've been to his house 
ever so many times, but Aunt Susan wouldn't tell me 
anything about him, only that he had gone away. As 
if I didn't know that as well as she. That's the way I 
came to find you." 

"How's that?" 

" Why, you see, I was wondering where you both were 
and what you were doing, and I heard pa and a good 
many others wondering, too, only they didn't seem to 
care anything about Jack, and I did. They all thought 
you'd gone off somewhere to get a horse to run against 
Gray Eagle ; just as quick as I heard them say it was 
to be a horse that had never run a race I knew it was 
Pomp, and that was the reason Jack had gone as well as 
you. I couldn't imagine where you were, though, until 
I thought of * Number Two,' and then of the sugar- 
bush right here beside it. I knew Jack used to ride 
the colt around the pasture and thought this would be 
just the nicest place in the world to train him. So I 
thought I'd come and see. Isn't it lovely here ?" she 
said, taking a general survey of her surroundings. Jack 
was petting the pony and gazing at her with unmistak- 
able delight. 

" Where do you keep him ? In there ?" pointing to 
the stable. " Can't I see him ? Oh, I'm sure he'll win. 
I've got ever so many bets on him." 

" You have ?" 

" Well — on the horse you are going to run. Of course 
I know it's Pomp, just as well as I know anything. 
Please let me see him." 

" How. did you come here ?" asked Uncle Horace, dis- 
regarding her appeal. 



I04 A Son of Old Harry. 

" As if you didn't know. Uncle Horace, aren't you 
getting a little loony ? Didn't you see I rode Dick ?" 

" I mean by what road ?" 

" Oh, I didn't come by any road at all," she answered, 
gayly. " I knew you didn't want anybody to suspect 
you were here, so I just rode up Matthews's lane until I 
came to the woods, and then picked my way along 
through them." 

" You must have found it pretty rough," 

'* Not so very," she answered ruefully, looking down 
at her habit, which was plentifully decorated with green 
burs. The others laughed at her brave denial of diffi- 
culty, in the face of such evidence. " There were one 
or two fences Dick had a hard time getting over," she 
continued. " But I'm so glad I came. Have you had a 
good time here in the woods. Jack ?" 

" Pretty good," answered the boy, with some embar- 
rassment. 

** Oh, it must be nice !" the little lady exclaimed, " I 
wish I was a boy — but where is Pomp ? I wanted to see 
him most as bad as I did you ?" 

The lad's face flushed with pleasure. 

"There isn't any *Pomp ' now, Deely !" he answered, 
jauntily. 

" Isn't any Pomp ? What do you mean ?" 

" We've given him a new name." 

" What for ?" 

" Uncle Horace thought * Pomp ' wasn't fine enough 
for a horse that was going to run a real sure-enough 
race," 

" What do you call him now ?" 

" I wanted to call him Curtius, but Uncle Horace 
didn't like it, so we named him Belmont's Abdallah." 

" 'Abdallah ?' " repeated the girl, sounding the word 
carefully, ** * Abdallah !' That's a pretty name ; but 



Karma or Atavia. 105 

why do you call him Belmont's Abdallah ? Have you 
sold him ? Who is Belmont ?" 

" You'll have to ask Uncle Horace." 

" Who is he, Uncle Horace ?" 

" I'm sure I couldn't tell you," answered the young 
man, who was leaning against the cabin-wall, still hold- 
ing his gun. 

" Then why did you call him that .?" 

" Because — well, because it's a respectable name for a 
horse to have," smiling. 

" So there wouldn't anybody know him ?" she asked 
shrewdly. 

" Well, that was one reason," Uncle Horace confessed. 

" I thought so," gayly. " I hope he'll win." 

" You do ?" 

" Of course," with a gay laugh at his surprise. " Did 
you think I was on the other side ?" 

" I s'posed you'd back the Gray Eagle." 

" Well, I don't. I told pa, as soon as I thought about 
— about — well, about the colt — I can't remember his new 
name — that he'd be beat, and he'd better back down. 
I've seen Pomp run in * Number Two.'" 

" He didn't take your advice ?" 

" No ; and I made a bet with him that he'd lose. 
I've got four or five other bets, too. You see, every- 
body's laying on the Gray Eagle, because he's won so 
many races, but I don't believe in him much. Ma says 
she hopes pa'll lose, and that'll stop him from throwing 
away money on horses." 

*' Stop him !" exclaimed Uncle Horace, throwing back 
his head and laughing in a way to wake the echoes. 

"That's what she said," continued the child, evidently 
abashed at the effect of her revelation ; " and I guess it 
will. It appears to take a good deal to get the old 
Eagle ready, anyway ; they've had to burn his legs." 



io6 A Son of Old Harry. 

" Fire him, you mean ?" 

" Well, isn't that burning ?" 

" Of course. Is he lame ?" 

*' Well — he was," sagely, ** But he does get over the 
ground when he's once limbered up," she added, 
doubtfully. " Pa says it'll take a lively nag to get away 
with him ; and if you should see him run once, you'd 
think so," 

" There ain't any doubt about that, I suppose you 
told your father your suspicions about — about the colt ?" 

" Indeed I didn't. Didn't I say I wanted you to win ? 
Ma said she wishes pa would get beat so bad he 
wouldn't dare look a horse in the face for the rest of his 
life ; it would be the best thing that could happen to 
■ him, and if he must lose, she'd rather you won his money 
than any one else, for you'll help Jack's father with it," 

" That's a fact, little one," exclaimed the uncle, 
warmly. 

"Oh, I know some things, if I am little," was the arch 
reply. 

Uncle Horace turned, and put his gun back on the 
hooks inside the cabin-door. 

" I thought you were going out to shoot squirrels ?" 

'* I guess I'd better wait and get dinner." 

*' Oh, do ; and I'll stay and eat it with you." 

*' Won't your folks be uneasy if you don't come 
home ?" 

*' I always stay to dinner when I go to Aunt Susan's ; 
don't I, Jack ?" 

** Of course — that is — most always," answered the 
boy, doubtful whether he ought to favor or discourage 
her project, 

Horace Goodwin was greatly puzzled by the turn 
affairs had taken, but concluded that it was better to 
trust this child, wise beyond her years and yet so 



Karma or Atavia. 107 

apparently simple and transparent, than to show any 
suspicion of her. If she was a spy, she already knew 
all that could be of detriment to them, and it might be 
well to have her carry away an impression of confidence 
on their part rather than of doubt. Next^ to beating 
the Gray Eagle out and out, the best "thing for the colt 
would be to have that horse pay forfeit to him. So he 
said, cheerfully : 

" Give the pony a bait. Jack, and bring the colt out 
and let the young lady look him over while I set about 
dinner. We don't often have company, you know. You 
come at the wrong time to see him move, Deely," he 
added, with a meaning look at the boy. 

The girl's surprise and delight at the condition and 
beauty of the colt, with which she had been acquainted' 
since he was a foal, was unbounded. 

When she had concluded her inspection and the newly 
christened nag had been returned to his stall, the boy 
and girl wandered up the little valley to visit some of 
the quiet nooks where the lad had been accustomed to 
pass his unoccupied hours during their long seclusion. 

" Oh, Jack !" she exclaimed in rapture, when they 
reached a pretty bower made by a leafy dogwood which 
had grown up among the branches of a fallen forest 
monarch and umbel-like shut out the light on every 
side. A broken limb of the great tree made a conven- 
ient seat, wherein she was installed. The giant trunk 
rose behind her, and the boy stood in the little open 
space before her, leaning against the bent trunk of the 
dogwood. It was his favorite haunt. 

" Oh, Jack," she repeated, " isn't this nice ?" 

" It's most like being in a house, isn't it ?" he said, 
pleased with her approval. 

" Yes, only nicer. What good times you must have 
here. I do hope you'll win !" 



io8 A Son of Old Harry. 

Her face beamed with unconcealed pleasure. 

" You want to win your bets ?" 

" Oh, I don't care for them, Jack !" she exclaimed 
with gleeful abandon. " I only made them because I 
was sure it was your colt that was going- to run." 

"We thought perhaps you were on the other side." 

" Uncle Horace thought so ; you didn't," she said, 
positively. 

" I s'posed of course, you'd — " stammered the lad. 

" No you didn't ; don't you ever say so !" 

She threatened him with upraised finger. The boy 
laughed. It was very pleasant to have her play the 
tyrant. 

" It was natural you should want your father to win," 
he protested. 

*' Oh, pa's all right," she said, with a sublime confi- 
dence in her father's ability to care for himself. " He 
says he stands to make something out of the race, 
whether he wins or loses. I guess he's been betting on 
the other side," she added, sagely. 

" I don't know," said the boy, wondering how she had 
learned so much. Betting was almost as much a 
mystery to him as the hereafter. The son of Seth 
Goodwin had known a different environment from that 
of King Marsh's daughter. 

" Nor I ; I only guess. But he says if your uncle 
Horace wins the race, he'll make enough to pay off the 
mortgage and send you to college, too." 

" I don't want to go to college," said the boy, dog- 
gedly. 

" But you must," asserted the girl. 

" I don't see why." 

"Because, if you don't," answered the little lady, 
smoothing her gown over her knees as she spoke, " I 
shall get ahead of you. You know I am going to school 



Karma or Atavia, 109 

— oh, ever so many years — until I learn as much as I 
can." 

" S'pose you do ?" 

" Why, I couldn't marry you if you didn't know as 
much as I." 

The child spoke as if their marriage was as much a 
matter of course as any every-day event. 

" Will you marry me if I go to college, Deely ?" 

" Why, of course." 

" Really and truly ?" 

" Really and truly. You don't think I'd marry any- 
body else, do you ?" 

There was a quaver of reproachful protest in her 
voice. 

** S'pose your folks wouldn't let you ?" 

" I'd run away." 

" They might make you marry somebody else while 
I was gone !" 

'•Then I'd run away from him when you came 
back." 

" And will you be my wife always ?" asked the boy, 
incredulously. 

" Of course. Ain't that what they promise, * forever 
and ever, amen ?' I've heard people married lots of 
times. Haven't you ever seen a wedding ?" 

The boy shook his head. 

" Well," said the girl, " the next time anybody gets 
married at our house, I'll let you know — if I have time, 
that is — they're most always in an awful hurry. You 
ought to see a wedding," she added, sagely, "so's to 
know how. You'll have to promise to love me always, 
you know, and take good care of me, too." 

** Oh, I'll do that," said the boy, readily. " I always 
did think you were the nicest girl that ever lived." 

He had edged towards her while they talked, and 



no A Son of Old Harry. 

finally sat down beside her. Then he put his arm about 
her neck and kissed her, shyly. 

" But you'll have to go to colleg-e," she insisted, 
diplomatically drawing herself backward, as if to avoid 
his advances. 

" I'll do that, too," said the lad recklessly, kissing her 
again. 

" Oh, Jack, how good you are !" she exclaimed, 
throwing off all reserve, now that her point was gained, 
flinging her arms about his neck and putting up her 
sweet child-mouth to kiss and be kissed as much as he 
might desire. 

" Won't it be nice ?" she sighed, when their caresses 
began to pall. 

" What ?" asked the duller-witted boy, from whom 
life's supremest rapture was yet farther away than from 
the prescient girl-nature, which already felt its prompt- 
ings. 

" Oh, just to love each other always — always," she 
repeated ; and then, more solemnly — " forever and ever, 
amen." 

Her tone awed the boy, and they sat silent, her head 
resting on his shoulder and her bright tresses flecking 
his brown " warm-us." It was the old, old story on the 
lips of babes. He was poor and sturdy ; she, rich and 
wordly-wise for her years, but tender and clinging as 
the woman-nature always is. 

It was an odd betrothal, with the summer woods and 
babbling brook for witnesses. There was no false 
modesty or shame-facedness about it. The young souls 
had felt no touch of passion. It was merely the natural 
result of that instinctive pleasure in each other which 
had grown out of comradeship. The boy never forgot 
it. From that hour he counted himself bound as if by 
the marriage vow. From that day forth he never 



Kartna or Atavia. 1 1 1 

thought of himself alone. His plans and dreams 
included always the golden-haired girl whose great 
earnest eyes met his then with such unquestioning 
faith. 

" Jack," she said, suddenly, releasing herself from 
his embrace and turning on him a look of serious con- 
cern, " who's going to ride the colt ?" 

" Why, I am ; who did you think ?" 

" I didn't know but — but Uncle Horace might." 

" He's too heavy." 

"You might get somebody, then — a jockey, you 
know." 

" The colt'll do more for me than for any one else." 

" I wish you wouldn't. Jack. Aren't you afraid ?" 

The light had gone out of her eyes. 

" There will be so many people there," she added, 
hesitantly. 

" I shan't see any of them," confidently ; " nothing 
but the horse — and the track." 

" But something might — might happen to you." 

" What ?" in surprise. 

" Well, he might bolt, or—" 

" Not with me." 

" But some one might — might get in the way, you 
know." 

She cast down her eyes as she spoke. 

" Oh, no fear of that ; they'll keep the track clear." 

" But it's a mile long." 

'* Well, there'll be enough there to watch it," he con- 
tinued, carelessly. 

The girl sighed. 

" Do you ever go — go to — to the house, Jack ?" she 
asked, at length, her eyes still downcast. 

" Sometimes," answered the boy, cautiously. 

'* I wouldn't — any more, I mean." 



112 A Sou of Old Harry. 

" Why not ?" 

" Somebody — might — might see you." 

"" No danger of that ; it's always dark when we go." 

" But somebody might be watching," 

" What for ?" 

" Well, they might want to know — don't you see ?" 

Her head was bent down and her cheeks burned. 

" Is anybody watching for us, Deely ?" 

The bent head fell lower. 

" And that is the reason you came here ?" 

Another nod. The boy saw a tear fall upon the little 
hands which worked nervously in her lap. 

" I understand," he said, gravely. He remembered 
what his uncle had said about the danger of discovery. 

" I — I didn't want to tell Uncle Horace," sobbed the 
girl. 

" He sha'n't ever know," answered the boy, manfully. 

"You will be careful, won't you, Jack?" she pleaded. 

" There won't nothing happen to me, Deely ; don't 
you be afraid," he said, stoutly, though his lips were 
white and his voice trembled a little. " I'm going to 
win that race." 

The boy had suddenly grown to be a man. The 
nature which love could not awaken, danger and resolu- 
tion had suddenly ripened. 

"I believe you will," said the girl, looking at him 
admiringly. The woman-nature pays tribute always to 
courage. 

The uncle whistled on his fingers to call them to din- 
ner. They returned hand in hand. 

" For all the world like a pair of old married folks," 
he said to himself, as they came near enough to enable 
him to see their grave faces. " She's safe ; she won't blab 
on him. That's often the way with girls. She's older 
an' truer'n she's likely to be half a dozen years from now." 



CHAPTER VII. 

SCREENING THE COVEY. 

The visit of Kincaid's daughter resulted in renewed 
precaution to secure privacy and divert suspicion in 
regard to the training-camp. From that time on, Chris 
Barclay spent the night there, bringing his dog Watch, 
who was better than a dozen sentinels. He passed the 
word to Horace Goodwin's friends, also, that they should 
bestir themselves to secure the attendance of people 
who would see to it that there was fair play on the day 
of the race. 

It was the almost universal opinion that Horace Good- 
win had undertaken a task quite impossible to perform. 
Every horse known to possess racing qualities in any of 
the adjoining counties had been canvassed by more than 
one jury of volunteer experts, and the result had been a 
practically unanimous concensus of opinion that no 
horse having the requisite conditions was to be found, 
nor, indeed, one of any sort capable of vanquishing the 
Gray Eagle. But the most puzzling fact of all was that 
not one of those most likely to succeed was in training. 
Under the circumstances, it was not strange that a 
report should obtain currency that Horace Goodwin had 
abandoned the attempt and gone East to avoid the 
ridicule certain to attend upon a failure to show 
that he had reasonable ground for the boast he had 



114 A Sou of Old Harry. 

made. This rumor had gained strength from a repeated 
offer of Kincaid to bet that Horace Goodwin would 
not appear, nor any horse be entered to contest the 
race with the Gray Eagle on the day named, 

Horace Goodwin's friends, who up to this time had 
seemed very apathetic, suddenly developed an unusual 
activity. Van Wyck posted a notice at every cross- 
roads for miles around that he was authorized by 
responsible parties to take bets in any sum from ten 
cents up to a thousand dollars that Horace Goodwin 
would appear and attempt bona fide to make good his 
challenge. Said bets to be conditioned only " that 
the said Goodwin and the horse he now has in train- 
ing shall be alive on the third day of July next." 
This authoritative challenge not only increased the 
popular excitement regarding the race, but tended to 
cast ridicule upon Kincaid 's pretensions. It confirmed 
also the idea that Goodwin was training at some 
remote point. This was further strengthened by the 
assurance of a gentleman of undoubted character, 
living in an adjoining county, but more than fifty miles 
to the eastward of Ortonville, that he had " recently 
seen Mr. Horace Goodwin and received his personal 
assurance that he would be present on the day set for 
the race, and confidently expected to produce a horse 
answering all the conditions imposed and able to beat 
not only Gray Eagle but any horse he had ever run 
against." As this included some of the most famous 
horses of the day, the statement greatly enhanced the 
interest in the event. 

The assurance that the race would positively come off 
brought with it a general conviction that no event of 
like importance had ever occurred in that region. 
People began to speak of it as the " Great Race," by 
which name it is still referred to by dwellers in that 



Screening the Covey. 1 1 5 

vicinity. With this came also the notion that an occa- 
sion of such importance required some unusual prep- 
aration for its due and orderly observance. At the 
" Quarterly Meeting " of the circuit including Ortonville, 
held two weeks before the race, notice was circulated 
that there would be a meeting the next Monday week 
to put the track in order and make other arrangements 
for the race. Everybody was invited to attend and 
bring such tools as might be useful in the work. No 
one objected to such notice being given at a religious 
meeting, and a good many worthy people openly 
approved the project, being convinced that " Brother " 
Goodwin, whose misfortunes were as well known as his 
character was respected, was likely to be greatly bene- 
fited by his brother's success. 

Perhaps the general sentiment was best expressed by 
one of the stewards, who said : 

" I don't approve of horse-racing, as a rule, though 
perhaps it's the things that go with it more'n the thing 
itself that I object to ; but if Hod Goodwin can't see any 
other way to help his brother out of a tight place — and I 
don't see that there is any other way — I don't think we 
ought to let his good intentions fail for want of a fair 
chance. As I'm an * official member,' very probably I 
may not go to the race, but I don't see any harm in 
helping the folks that live along the ' measured mile ' 
to * mend their ways ' a little about this time. So, I 
guess I'll go to the * bee ' and let the boys go to the race 
— unless I find it necessary to go along to look after 
them, then, too," 

The meeting to prepare the track was of unexpected 
proportions. Before nine o'clock more than five hun- 
dred men had assembled, armed with picks, shovels, 
hoes and other implements, Kincaid sent two teams 
with a plow and a roller. Chris Barclay was there with 



1 1 6 A Son of Old Harry. 

a new smoother of his own invention with backward 
curving knife-edged teeth, which was looked upon at 
first with derision, but which soon justified itself by its 
execution, A man was chosen by acclamation to super- 
intend the work, who, with that ready assumption of 
delegated authority which our American life has made 
habitual, at once appointed his assistants and began 
issuing orders. In twenty minutes every man was at 
work, the overseer being the only one who did not 
wield some implement, he riding up and down the line 
and giving directions, so as to secure uniformity and 
thoroughness of work. 

It was a jolly gathering. The men worked as earn- 
estly as though in their own cornfields — some of them 
more industriously. The air was full of rough jests 
and loud laughter. The horses chafed at the unusual 
excitement. The drivers cracked their whips, shouted 
to their teams and took part also in the general jollity. 
The boys brought water for the men to drink from the 
wells along the route, in buckets with tin dippers float- 
ing in them. Nearly all were clothed in homespun ; 
many of them were barefoot. They wore palm-leaf 
hats, in the crowns of which many carried gaudily printed 
handkerchiefs. They were a wholesome, manly crowd, 
and their wit, if coarse, was seldom malicious. 

There were not many people living along the 
" measured mile — "only three or four families — but 
they all felt honored by the great event which was to 
occur at their very doors, and gladly invited as many of 
the workers as they could accommodate to dinner. The 
limit of their capacity to " accommodate" was the ability 
of the " women folks " to cook and serve. Many of the 
men had brought their wives, who " turned in " and 
« helped in this service. 

It was expected that Horace Goodwin would make his 



Screening the Covey, 117 

appearance during the day, but he did not. His brother 
Seth, sitting in his great arm-chair in the shade of a 
couple of giant elms which had somehow escaped the 
woodman's ax, and waved congratulatory greetings to 
each other standing at something more than their 
limbs' length apart, in front of his house, gazed com- 
posedly upon the busy scene, answered pleasantly the 
greetings and good wishes of his friends, and when 
asked about his brother, replied, without hesitation, that 
he had not seen him for more than a month. No one 
doubted his word. The man selected to supervise the 
repairs of the track consulted him in regard to arrange- 
ments for the race. It was agreed that there should be 
a strong force of special officers to preserve order, and 
that no liquor should be sold within half a mile of the 
grounds. These and other necessary regulations were 
to be submitted to a meeting to be held after the work 
was done, at the south end of the course. That the 
people of the vicinage might not have a legal right to 
make such proscriptive regulations did not seem to 
occur to any one. 

When the hour of noon arrived, Susan Goodwin, 
standing on the horse-block beside the big front gate, 
blew a blast which was heard the whole length of the 
"measured mile," on a conch-shell, brought from the 
East among her household treasures, which had been in 
the family for at least three generations, having neatly 
pricked on its inner surface the initials of three house- 
wives, who had successively joined their fortunes with 
the Goodwin stock. It was answered by the dinner- 
horns of all the neighborhood. The work ceased 
almost instantly. The horses instinctively stood still in 
their tracks on hearing the accustomed call. The men 
shouldered each the implement with which he had been 
working, and marching to the roadside, hung it on the 



1 1 8 A Son of Old Harry, ' 

high " stake and rider" fence. Delia Kincaid, on her 
pony, ran a race with the overseer down the half-fin- 
ished track. The men stood aside and cheered as 
they passed. 

Some had brought their lunches and gathered in 
the orchard opposite Seth Goodwin's house, or sat 
around in the shadow of the trees and fence -corners or 
beneath their wagons, to eat them. Others came to 
partake of the provisions set forth by the Goodwins — 
especially the barrel of hard cider, which flanked the 
. tables in the front yard. Many came to wash their 
hands and faces at the big trough by the well, whose 
stone-laden sweep had seldom made so many journeys 
in a day. 

As soon as they began to eat, the conversation turned 
upon the weather. Men wiped their sweaty faces, 
pushed back the damp hair from their foreheads, and 
agreed that it was hot. The thermometer had not yet 
become an instrument of universal discomfort, and none 
knew that on the "measured mile " it would have regis- 
tered " ninety in the shade " that sultry June day. The 
general hope was expressed that it would be cooler on 
the day of the race, though some knowing ones ven- 
tured the statement that the best time had generally 
been made on hot days. A good many of Kincaid's 
followers offered to lay odds on the Gray Eagle, but 
it was not a betting crowd. They were interested in 
the race, willing to give lime and labor to prepare 
for it ; but they had no notion of staking money on 
the result. The boys bet jack-knives and other trink- 
ets, and the women made foolish little wagers with 
each other ; but the men generally contented themselves 
with opinions and arguments. Their time for betting 
had not arrived, since each wished to back his judgment 
rather than his inclination. 



Screening the Covey. 1 1 9 

The " State road," of which the ** measured mile " 
was a part, was a notable highway. It had been a 
turnpike and the law had prescribed its dimensions — " a 
rod wide, clear of stumps and runners on each side ; 
the middle well piked up, thirty-two feet between the 
outer edges of the ditches on each side " — constituting 
two rods of border and two of roadway. The turfy 
borders were thus reserved for the accommodation of 
herds of stock, which were thereby enabled to pass 
along the road without interrupting the stream of 
wagons moving each way. The " measured mile " was 
an almost perfect level, that lay between two sharp 
depressions which cut the line of the great highway, and 
was marked at one end by a great beech, just in front of 
Seth Goodwin's house, and at the other by a big chest- 
nut, a furlong to the southward of Chris Barclay's resi- 
dence, the lines which marked the start and the finish 
being attached to staples on the north side of the beech 
and the south side of the chestnut, making a course, 
according to Squire Kendall's chain, of just one mile, 
three links and a half. It was the best piece of road in 
the whole region, but there were ruts and holes and 
sticks and stones here and there along its extent when 
the work of preparation began. Many willing hands 
soon changed its appearance, and the brown, springy 
surface being inspected by the overseer at four o'clock 
in the afternoon, was pronounced as good a track as any 
horse had ever struck a hoof on, though even then its 
condition was far enough from the modem race-course 
standard. 

The proposed meeting was then held. The man who 
had been chosen to supervise the work, presided, stand- 
ing on a work-bench under the great beech. He was 
unanimously elected marshal for the day of the race, 
and empowered to choose his assistants. The rules he 



I20 A Sou of Old Harry. 

suggested were adopted, and the sheriff of the county 
announced that he would make the marshal and his 
assistants special deputies for that day, so as to secure 
good order and fair play. The race was ordered to 
take place between eleven o'clock and three, so as to 
give time for people to return home before dark, and 
the marshal was authorized to stop all travel on the 
road during such time as might be necessary, and to 
make rules for the orderly egress of the crowd from the 
track after the race was over — a very necessary provi- 
sion where each one was expected to come in his own 
vehicle. 

After this spontaneous exhibition of the self-govern- 
ing instinct of the American people, the crowd was 
about to disperse when Kincaid's groom appeared, 
mounted on Gray Eagle, He was a splendid horse, of 
that peculiar iron-gray which so often results from a 
comminglmg of the blood of Sir Archy and that Pilot 
stock so abundant in the Tennessee and Virginia moun- 
tains. A flaming eye and lordly crest, edged with flowing 
silver, gave him a peculiarly impressive aspect, while a 
tail, as white as that of the prophet's mare, proudly 
upreared in moments of excitement, had often flashed 
a baleful meteor in the eyes of defeated competitors. 
He was given an easy spurt over the soft track to the 
half-mile post and back, for the entertainment of the 
crowd, and Marshall Kincaid could not restrain a glow 
of satisfaction as he saw the depressing effect of the 
exhibition produced upon the friends of Horace Good- 
win, who were somewhat comforted, however, by the 
confident, half-contemptuous words of Seth : 

" He's a good horse, Mr. Kincaid. If it was a case of 
heads and tails he'd be pretty sure to win ; but he'll 
meet a horse next Tuesday week that hasn't much of 



Screening the Covey. 121 

an eye for flax, but will busy himself with eating up the 
ground instead of flourishing his tail." 

He smiled with calm assurance as he spoke. 

" Seth's a Goodwin, and knows a horse if he doesn't 
race," was the general verdict. 

" Hurrah for the Gray Eagle !" shouted one of Kin- 
caid's followers. 

" Hurrah for Belmont's Abdallah !" exclaimed a 
gentlemanly-looking stranger who had ridden up a 
little while before. He took off his hat as he spoke to 
lead the cheers. 

" Who's Belmont's Abdallah ?" asked Kincaid, 
brusquely. 

" He's the horse that will have the honor of beating 
Gray Eagle," answered the stranger with quiet assur- 
ance. 

" Why don't you trot him out and let us see him ?" 

" You will see him soon enough. Hurrah !" 

He swung his hat, and the crowd cheered good- 
naturedly. The stranger proved to be a resident of a 
county which touched the one in which Ortonville was 
situated, only at the extreme northwestern corner. The 
announcement of the name of the competing horse 
added greatly to the interest in the race, which was 
already at fever heat in the country round, and directed 
attention especially to the country from which the 
stranger came. So the cosy training camp in the woods, 
a mile away, remained unsuspected and undisturbed. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



THE SON OF ABDALLAH. 



The day of the race was all that could be desired, and 
the concourse of people greater even than had been 
anticipated. Long before the hour of eleven, the 
" measured mile " seemed merely a broad yellow ribbon 
between two dark lines of vehicles ranged along the sides. 
The horses were tethered in the fence-corners. The 
men wandered back and forth, some along the roadway, 
others trampling through the tall grass in the adja- 
cent meadows. The marshals, with white sashes 
across their shoulders, rode hither and thither, getting 
the crowd in order and finding places for the wagons 
still arriving. The trees in the orchard and along the 
sides of the course were filled with boys. Men perched 
on the fences or leaned against them, whittling as they 
talked. Here and there were venders of cakes and 
cider, ginger-beer and other harmless decoctions. 
Numerous peddlers plied their trade up and down the 
line or at stands where they displayed their wares. 
There was much noise, little profanity, very few dis- 
agreements, and absolutely no pocket-picking. 

At each end there was an enclosure made by ropes 
stretched from stake to stake for the horses and their 
attendants. From these the public was rigidly excluded 
by the marshals. The Gray Eagle occupied a spacious 



The Son of Abdallah. 123 

marquee in the orchard, from which a flag gayly floated. 
The horse that was to compete with him was securely 
screened from prying eyes in a little tent erected in Seth 
Goodwin's yard, almost under the branches of the giant 
beech. It was carefully guarded by the friends of Hor- 
ace Goodwin, none of whom seemed to know however, 
what manner of horse it was that stamped and whinnied 
when the brown mare was taken out, that her master 
might accompany Kincaid and the marshal on a tour of 
inspection up and down the track, to see that everything 
was in proper order and make the necessary arrange- 
ment at the other end. A great crowd had gathered at 
the south end of the course, where it was supposed the 
starts would be made. 

Six judges had been appointed, who were divided by 
lot, three to officiate at each end of the course. At the 
southern terminus they were given seats on the work- 
bench under the great beech ; at the other end of the 
course they sat in a farm-wagon drawn up beside the 
chestnut-tree which marked the limit. Forty mounted 
marshals were stationed along the track, twenty on each 
side. Their duty was to prevent obstruction or interfer- 
ence with the race, and to observe and report any 
impropriety on the part of the riders when beyond the 
judges' view. They were provided with white and red 
flags with which to telegraph the result of each heat. 
There was to be an interval of twenty minutes between 
the heats, and the horses were to be called to the post 
by the beat of a drum. A gun was to be fired as soon 
as a start was made, to notify those along the course 
that a heat had begun, and at the end to announce the 
finish. The marshals rode back and forth in the narrow 
ditches, warning the crowd off from the track. Boys 
swarmed everywhere, and Delia Kincaid's black pony, 



124 ^ Son of Old Harry. 

white plumes and waving curls flashed in and out 
among the spectators in the most unexpected places. 

When Horace Goodwin returned from the northern 
end of the track, he speeded the brown mare along the 
course, the rest of the cavalcade following at a sharp 
gallop. Everybody cheered the mare and her handsome 
rider, who was quite the gentleman in blue coat, with 
brass buttons and white bell-crowned hat. Everybody 
declared they had never seen a mile trotted in such short 
time and good form. This unexpected and gratuitous 
entertainment put the crowd in rare good humor. 

When all the details were completed, the marshal, 
standing on the work -bench, commanded silence, 
ordered the track to be cleared and that no one should 
cross it until the race was ended. His deputies, sitting 
on their horses along each side of the track, waved their 
flags and repeated his announcement. Then the 
makers of the race were called on to name their horses, 
and Marshall Kincaid, standing on a chair on the west 
side of the track, named Gray Eagle, giving the name 
of his sire and dam and announcing himself as the 
owner. At the same moment, the sides of the marquee 
were thrown back, and the proud horse, with his wiry 
little colored jockey, clad in gray with shining boots and 
spurs, pranced out and took his place before the judges' 
stand. Their appearance was greeted with a loud cheer. 
Marshall Kincaid looked flushed and confident. People 
said it was a dangerous look — he felt too sure of win- 
ning. The rumor had gotten out that he would win by 
fair means if he could, but meant to win anyhow. It 
was more a deduction from his general character than 
an inference from any specific fact which had come to 
the public knowledge. 

Nothing was yet known about the horse that was to 
contest the race with Gray Eagle. Kincaid's horse had 



The So7i of Abdallah. 125 

been galloped along the track every day for a week. 
Twice in the dusk — morning and evening — two persons, 
so disguised as to be unrecognizable, had ridden horses 
equally well disguised along the track ; and once, on a 
moonlight night, a glimpse of two white forms and two 
straining steeds had met the startled eyes of neighbors, 
wakened by the clatter of hoofs. They had come twice 
from the north and once from the south, and, in each 
case, had disappeared at the first cross-roads beyond. 
That one of these was the horse which was to make the 
race with Gray Eagle every one believed. But all 
efforts to trace them failed, because no one thought of 
following the stony beds of the little rivulets, by which 
the riders had made their way into blocks of woodland, 
in the very middle of which the training stable was hid- 
den. There was a breathless silence, therefore, when 
Horace Goodwin, standing jauntily on the shoulders of 
two friends, who jocosely offered him this support, took 
off his hat to the judges and announced : 

" Belmont's Abdallah, son of Abdallah, by the Bel- 
mont Mare ; bay colt, four years old ; never entered for 
any race." 

" Who owns him, and where was he foaled ?" inter- 
rupted Kincaid, imperiously. 

" Seth Goodwin owns him, and he was foaled about 
forty rods from where he now stands !" answered 
Horace, with a ring of triumph in his voice. 

The announcement was so unexpected that it was 
received at first in silence, then with shouts which were 
repeated over and over again, as the information made 
its way up the crowd-lined course. 

'* Do you want any proofs of these facts, Mr. Kincaid.?" 
asked the marshal. 

'* Nothing but the horse," said Kincaid, incredulously. 



126 A Son of Old Harry. 

" I've known him from a foal, and 'twon't be easy to 
fool me. Trot him out !" 

Horace Goodwin placed ^wo fingers of his left hand 
between his lips and gave a shrill whistle. The front of 
the tent was opened, and the son of Abdallah walked 
with steady, springing strides to the starting-place, look- 
ing wonderingly about upon the unaccustomed crowd. 
This quiet entry had been carefully planned to contrast 
with the expected flourish attending the production of 
the Gray Eagle. Jack had begged to be allowed to ride 
bare-back and bare-footed as he had trained, but his 
mother's pride had prevented the latter, and his uncle's 
fear of objection had vetoed the former. He was 
attired, therefore, in a white jacket and trowsers, with 
red stockings, tied above the knee with blue ribbons, 
without shoes, and wore a red cap. All were home- 
made. He carried a long, heavy whip strapped to his 
wrist and rode a narrow sheepskin pad with stirrups 
attached, which he hardly seemed to need. 

There was another hush as every eye scanned the 
points of the new candidate for the honors of the 
turf, who stood quietly but fearlessly looking round on 
the assemblage. Some thought him lacking in spirit ; 
others said he was too long in the back to endure con- 
tinued exertion ; one pronounced him too deep in the 
chest ; another thought him too low in the withers ; 
but all confessed that the trim, round body, slender 
limbs, lithe neck, lean head, quick-moving ears, shiny 
coat and glossy black points presented as nearly perfect 
a picture of the ideal horse as they had ever seen. 

"A big little horse," said one expert to another, 
sententiously. 

" May be a flyer and may be a stayer, or may be 
neither," was the cautious answer. 



TJie Soil of Abdallah. 127 

" Bound to be both," said a third, " with Hod Good- 
win backing- him. He's the horse for my money." 

" I always bet on the horse, not on the owner," 
replied the other, in a sarcastic tone. 

On the whole, the impression was favorable to the 
colt, Marshall Kincaid saw it, and he knew it was 
justified by the animal's appearance and Horace Good- 
win's confidence in his ability. He wished to do some- 
thing to counteract it ; not that public opinion makes 
much difference with the outcome of a race, but the 
man who bets always wants public opinion on the side 
of his horse. There is a notion, too, that a horse knows 
when he is winning applause and feels the force of 
public favor. 

" Do you have to ride him with an oxgad ?" asked the 
owner of Gray Eagle, therefore, with a sneer, pointing 
to the whip at Jack's wrist, 

**Why, that's style. Marsh, don't you understand?" 
answered Horace, jocosely, " I couldn't afford to bor- 
row a nigger and fit him out with gimcracks as you 
have done ; but raw-hide's cheap, you know, and being 
sure you'd got the longest purse, I thought I'd try and 
have the longest whip," 

This good-natured raillery was received with applause 
by the crowd, especially the company of young men 
who had gathered around Horace Goodwin and were 
justly proud of his easy audacity, 

" You are to determine where the start is to be made, 
and have the choice of tracks, I believe, Mr, Goodwin," 
said the marshal. 

" That's the bargain," confirmed Kincaid. 

" The first heat will begin at the north end ; the 
second at the south, and so on. I choose the west 
track," Horace Goodwin proclaimed. 

Both these announcements created some surprise, 



128 A Son of Old Harry. 

but the marshal repeated them, at the same time cau- 
tioning the riders that if either crossed into the other's 
track with a lead of less than four lengths it would con- 
stitute a foul and forfeit the heat. 

Two mounted marshals were sent to escort the horses 
to the starting-point. One rode in front followed by- 
Gray Eagle, and the other after him followed by Abdal- 
lah. The veteran racer, catching the excitement of the 
admiring, shouting crowd, pranced and ambled along 
the whole course, his rider foolishly inducing him to 
sidle and curvet for the gratification of the behold- 
ers. Abdallah, as yet ignorant of what it meant, only 
looked from side to side in a mild, wondering way, 
which only tended to confuse the on-lookers as to his 
merits. Jack rode with a loose rein, allowing his horse 
to take the long, easy walk to which he had been accus- 
tomed in training, his head down and swinging from 
side to side, while his rider fixed his attention closely 
upon the track he was to use. 

** I guess you're right," said the man, who had sneered 
at the idea of betting on the owner. "A trainer with as 
long a head as that move indicates, will do to bet on. 
Of course, if anything crooked is intended — and I can't 
help thinking something is in the wind — the trap has 
been set on the east side of the track, and it's too late to 
change it now. The idea of sending the horses through 
all this clamor to the other end of the course to begin is 
a splendid one, too. It'll take the wire edge off the old 
horse, who will be fretted by it, and just be a season- 
ing to the colt to whom it means nothing as yet Just 
see how he swings along there, as if he was plowing. I 
guess I'll try to learn something more about him." 

He sauntered leisurely over to where Horace stood 
talking with his friends. 

" A fine colt," he said, nodding toward the track. 



The Son of Abdallah. 129 

" Some think so," was the careless reply. 

" Did I understand you to say he is a foal of the Bel- 
mont Mare ?" 

" Probably ; that's the case, anyhow." 

" You said the Belmont Mare, I believe ?" 

"That's what I meant." 

" No chance for any mistake, I suppose ?" 

" Got the evidence, bang-up." 

" There's been a great deal of inquiry about her for 
the last two or three years, you know ?" 

** That's what first put me on the track of her." 

" Most people think she's dead." 

" So she is." 

" You know she has two of the fastest horses alive to 
her credit, I suppose ?" 

" Yes ; and she'll have another before sundown," con- 
fidently. 

" Your mount seems rather young ?" in a doubtful 
tone. 

" He's a Goodwin," answered Horace, shrugging his 
shoulders. 

The bystanders laughed. They understood the force 
of the allusion. 

" Is he marked ?" asked one. 

" He's got a red spur on his heel," was the confident 
reply. 

"Then he's all right." 

Again the little group of friends laughed. 

" But something might happen," said the stranger. 
" The horse evidently has a temper." 

Horace chuckled, quietly. 

" See here. Mister," he said, glancing hastily around, 
and lowering his voice. " That whip wasn't meant for 
such as you. I'd back that boy to ride the colt with a 



130 A Son of Old Harry. 

halter and win, without whip or spur. You just watch 
them." 

" Is he for sale ?" 

" The boy ?" 

"No; the horse." 

"Will be after the race." 

" Any bids up ?" 

" One." 
; " Is it a secret ?" 

" No ; two and a half." 

" Hundreds ?" 

" Thou.s." 

V Conditional ?" 

" As a winner — of coiirse." 

" If he wins, I'll double it," significantly. 

" All right. What's the name ?" 

The stranger took a gold pencil-case from his^pocket, 
opened it and wrote his name on the leaf of a pass-book 
which he tore out and handed to Goodwin. 

The latter started in surprise as he glanced at it. 

" So you owned — " he began. 

"Never mind," interrupted the other, significantly. 
"I've owned several things in my time." 

" All right," with a laugh. " Are you betting on the 
colt ?" 

" I will lay you fifty on the Gray Eagle — at, let me 
see, what odds — well — say two to one." 

He was a large man, with somewhat prominent brown 
eyes. As he uttered these words, he slowly closed one 
eye as if going to sleep, and after a moment opened it 
- with equal deliberation. It had none of the character 
of a wink, but Horace Goodwin answered with a 
chuckle : 

" Very well ; I haven't much money, but if you see 
anybody that wants to stake a little cash on those 



The Son of Abdallah. 131 

terms, send him round and my friends will accommo- 
date him." 

" I will," answered the other, seriously. 

Five minutes afterwards it was circulated about the 
course that the former owner of Gray Eagle, a man 
well known in the world of sport, was on the ground 
and backing his former possession at odds of two to 
one. This seemed all that was necessary to start the 
betting fever, and those of Goodwin's friends who had 
nerve enough to back his sagacity and luck took a good 
many small wagers on these terms. 

Cris Barclay was the starter at the north end of the 
course. The gray was half a length ahead when the 
horses went under the string ; but Jack nodded to him 
and he gave the word. If the hindmost rider was satis- 
fied it was none of his business. The starting-gun was 
fired, and before its echoes had died away the Gray 
Eagle had improved the advantage he had at the send- 
off, and was two, three — a half-dozen lengths ahead ! 
What was the matter with the colt ? At this rate he 
would be distanced in the first heat. The kind-hearted 
blacksmith shook his head and groaned. The people 
along the route were silent. The Gray Eagle's jockey 
glanced backward and spoke encouragingly to his 
horse. If he could keep his lead until the half-mile 
post he stood to win. But now the colt began to close 
the gap. The jockey touched the Eagle with his boot, 
not spurring him, but hinting at it as a possibility. 
Still the bay crept up. As they saw it the people 
cheered. Public sympathy was evidently with the boy 
and the home-bred colt. As they passed the half-mile 
maple, the black muzzle was even with the white flank. 
The Gray Eagle's rider urged him openly, and the 
veteran answered with a magnificent burst of speed. 
Still the colt did not lag. His ears were laid back, the 



132 A Son of Old Harry. 

white teeth showed as he champed the bit, and his eyes 
flashed wickedly ; but he neither gained nor lost. The 
boy patted his neck and spoke soothingly to him, his 
hand bearing lightly on the rein. They passed the 
three-quarter post, and now the colt began to gain. 
The rider of Gray Eagle is using the spur ! They are 
twenty lengths away from the big beech, and the black 
nose is on a Ime with the white one. Now the boy leans 
forward, shakes the reins and speaks sharply to the 
colt. The gray's jockey plies the whip. The old horse 
responds nobly, but in vain. The colt is half a length 
ahead as they pass under the string. 

The gun is fired. A shout goes up. The marshals, 
sitting on their horses along the course, wave their red 
flags to show that the bay has won. Then the shout 
echoes back and forth. Seth Goodwin smiles con- 
tentedly, and his wife, standing behind his chair in the 
front doorway, waves a greeting to the boy, who glances 
toward her before he jumps down and runs into the 
tent, leaving the colt to be cared for by others. 

" Well done ! Blamed well done ?" mutters the phleg- 
matic stranger, as he saunters back to get a closer view 
of the colt. 

Kincaid gave some directions to his jockey, and 
Horace Goodwin whispered a word in Jack's ear as he 
tossed him to his seat for the second heat. The boy 
was pale and the set lips were white to their very edges. 
There was some trouble about getting away, and again 
the Gray Eagle got the lead and kept it all the way, 
winning by a length and more. The time, as near as it 
could be computed, was nothing like as good as in the 
first heat. As soon as the result was announced, Good- 
win's friends scattered themselves along the southern 
part of the track, Kincaid's followers cheered loudly, 



The Soil of Abdallah. 133 

but the shout lacked the volume that comes from num- 
bers, 

Seth Goodwin smiled composedly as he heard it. He 
did not doubt — he could not doubt. He had asked this 
one thing of God — the God he had served and loved — 
and he had no fear that his prayer would not be 
answered. So he only smiled when he saw the white 
flags waved and heard the shouts, " The Gray wins !" 
" Hurrah for the Gray Eagle !" His belief in the colt's 
success had become a part of his religion. It was a 
curious fact ; and the wife, who stood beside his chair, 
trembled lest his faith should be shattered as well as 
his hopes dashed by defeat. Fortunately, neither knew 
of the peril which confronted the lad, since no whisper 
of the warning received had been allowed to come to 
their ears. Indeed, the boy had given only the vaguest 
hint of it even to his uncle. When the gun was fired 
for the third heat the Gray was again in the lead and 
remained there, though evidently much distressed, for 
the first quarter. Then the colt closed up. At the 
half-mile they were neck to neck. Then the bay shot 
suddenly ahead, and at the third quarter there were a 
dozen lengths between them. A roar of triumph rolled 
before him down the line. 

" No chance for a foul there," said Horace Goodwin, 
standing on the end of the work-bench, to the stranger 
at his side, in a tone of exultant satisfaction. Every- 
body was straining to see the finish and shouting in 
anticipation. 

** Ah !" exclaimed the stranger, gazing with a look of 
horror up the track. What he saw froze his blood with 
terror ! Horace Goodwin's eyes followed his startled 
gaze. A man, brandishing a club above his head, had 
rushed out of the west line of spectators and was stand- 
ing directly in the path of the rushing steed, threaten- 



134 ^ ^^^^ ^f ^^^ Harry. 

ing the colt and his rider. A cry of angry warning 
went up from the excited crowd. Even at that distance 
Horace knew him. He was, his enemy ; his brother's 
enemy, too. Dan Marvin meant revenge. The crowd 
thought so. Women shrieked and closed their eyes 
that they might not see the young lad's death. 

" Get off the track ! Ride him down ! Kill him !" 
were cries heard amid the tumult. A dozen men 
started toward the intruder. It was too late ! The 
bay, with outstretched neck and gnashing teeth, was 
rushing down upon him. The man brandished his 
club and shouted. The boy's long whip went back 
over his head. He leaned forward, and it cut down 
into the man's face before he came in range of the 
brandished club. Marvin shrank back with a howl of 
agony. The colt rose to leap over him, hardly pausing 
in his stride. The bent knees struck the man in the 
breast and he was thrown down. The horse's feet 
cleared him by a yard, and the son of Abdallah came 
home a winner by some twenty lengths, not having 
swerved a hair's breadth from his course ! 

Horace Goodwin gasped, as he wiped the cold sweat 
from his brow and caught the boy in his arms. 
Marshall Kincaid cursed savagely under his breath. 
The crowd broke from its self-imposed restraint and 
swarmed about the winner. Dan Marvin would have 
been roughly dealt with by the angry multitude, but 
when taken up, he was found to be insensible. The 
concussion had been very severe, though no bones were 
broken, but the heavy rawhide had cut a deep gash 
across his face, the end striking an eye, and, it was 
thought, destroying the sight. He was said to have 
been half drunk, and his well-known spite against the 
Goodwins was thought a sufficient motive for his act. 
though some were suspicious of Kincaid. There was 



A Son of Abdallah. 135 

a rumor which gained currency afterward that the 
attack was expected and the whip loaded with shot 
in anticipation of it. The blow was a severe one for 
a boy to give, and left a mark time would never wholly 
obliterate. 

" Shows the effect of early training," said Horace to 
the stranger, striving to recover his equanimity and 
patting the colt's drooping neck as he spoke. " Jump- 
ing over logs and stumps in a woods pasture did that." 

"Well, Hod," said Kincaid, jocularly, crossing the 
track, when the result had been announced, " I believe 
I've got the best of it, if you did win. A horse like 
that is cheap at twenty-five hundred." 

" Would be if you got him for that," answered Horace, 
who stood at the colt's head, shaking hands and answer- 
ing congratulations. 

" If I got him ? Why, that was the bargain. I'm 
ready to pay the money down." 

" Not at all, Mr. Kincaid ; you agreed to pay that 
sum for the colt if he beat the Gray Eagle, but nobody 
agreed that you should have him for that." 

"Why, that's what I bet on." 

" Not much ; you staked that offer against my mare. 
You didn't win the mare, and we don't accept your 
offer." 

*' It's all he's worth, anyhow, and you ought to let me 
have a chance to get my money back." 

" Your money back ! You haven't lost any money, 
except when you bought Gray Eagle — unless you have 
been betting on him," he added, slyly. 

" Well, give me a chance to make some, then. What'll 
you take for the colt ?" 

" We're offered twice what you agreed to pay, right 
here on the ground, and aren't inclined to accept that. 



136 A Son of Old Harry. 

You'll have to bid up pretty smart if you want to come 
in, Mr. Kincaid." 

The crowd laughed both at Horace's good fortune and 
Kincaid's discomfiture. 

The boy stole off during the excitement attending the 
finish, and flung himself sobbing and unstrung upon his 
father's breast. 

" Oh, father," he cried, " you won't be troubled now ; 
you will get well, won't you ?" 

" John !" exclaimed the watchful wife, in a tone of 
cautious remonstrance. 

" You are a good boy, Hubert," said the father 
solemnly, brushing back the damp locks and kissing the 
white brow. " I don't think I'll ever have any more 
trouble. God bless you, my son — and remember this : 
What one does really and truly for another's happiness 
is not likely to be very far wrong." 

It was a generous notion, though a very doubtful 
ethical principle. But Seth Goodwin's was not a critically 
analytical mind. He had determined to countenance the 
race for the sake of his wife and his child, even at the risk 
of Divine disfavor, and was amazed and enraptured to 
find that he felt no self-reproach for having done so ; 
but, on the contrary, experienced a quiet exaltation, 
which assured him that he had done well in laying 
aside for once the scruples of a lifetime. It was thus 
he formulated the lesson of his own heroism. 

The mother led the weeping boy away, while scores 
of people crowded about to congratulate their friend 
and neighbor on the success of his colt. Not one who 
saw Seth Goodwin at that time ever forgot the glow 
that rested on his face, as he assured them that he had 
never once doubted the result, because he had asked it 
of God in faith, believing that his prayer would be 
answered. 



A Soft of Abdallah. 137 

Before the morrow dawned, he had gone to meet the 
judgment of unerring wisdom of his acts. The cold 
clay wore the same beatific smile. People said he died 
happy because he was at peace with God. Horace 
Goodwin alone knew of the terrible determination he 
had expressed to secure his family from want, even at 
the hazard of his soul's salvation. 

" I guess he's found that offering himself for others' 
good in this world is a pretty fair passport for the next," 
he said to himself, as he performed the last sad rites for 
the dead brother. 

Strange as it may seem, the race added not less to the 
renown of the " child of Theophilus " for piety, than to 
the reputation of the " son of Old Harry " for shrewd- 
ness. No doubt both of these sentiments were en- 
hanced by subsequent events. 




PART SECOND— HUBERT. 
CHAPTER I. 



A BIT OF NEIGHBORLY GOSSIP. 

" How's the Widow Goodwin's boy to-day, doctor ?" 

"He seems a little better, but it's hard to tell; he's 
had a good many set-backs." 

" Do you think he'll weather it ?" 

" Well, I hope so," said Doctor Kelsey, turning so as 
to hang one leg over the side of his gig, and expectorat- 
ing back over the wheel. " You see, he's young and 
sound as a nut. This last affair was pretty hard on 
him, but he seems to be getting the better of it now, 
and if nothing more happens, I guess he'll get along ; 
though it's been a touch-and-go case from the first. 
He'd probably have had a mild attack of brain-fever 
after the race, anyhow. It seems he'd been expecting 
trouble — they had some hint of what was coming, I sup 
pose — and then there was so much depending on the 
race, that with it all, and the danger he'd been through, 
the boy was all broke up when it was over. Then came 
old Ryther's sermon ; that was enough of itself to 
frighten the lad into fits if he'd been well." 

"That was too bad." 

" Bad ? It was the meanest thing I ever heard of, 
and that's saying a good deal." 



A Bit of Neighborly Gossip. 139 

Doctor Kelsey's black eyes flashed angrily, as he 
brought his leather-gloved hand down on his plump 
knee to emphasize his remark. He was the ideal coun- 
try doctor, jolly and garrulous, who filled the gig in 
which he rode as full as the medicines he carried filled 
the plethoric saddle-bags that hung across the seat. He 
was active despite his weight, and, though given to 
gossip, never missed a call. He was autocratic within 
his sphere, as well he might be, for physicians of his 
skill were rare in that region, and the consciousness of 
power made him free to express opinions upon all 
subjects, especially those effecting the welfare of his 
patients. 

" If I had imagined the old rascal would have been 
guilty of anything so outrageous, I would have forbid 
any service at the house. The boy wasn't able to go to 
the grave, you know, so he would have escaped that 
exposure, anyhow." 

** What do you suppose possessed the Elder to go on 
so?" 

" Well, you see, he's one of the old-style circuit-rider's, 
who are beginning to feel that they are losing their 
grip and the world is kinder slipping out from under 
them. He has a spite at grammar, and realizes that 
people are getting a little tired of that sort of slang- 
whanging he's been used to all his life. Seth, you know, 
was careful of what he said — pretty particular, in fact — 
but he had a wonderful voice and a sort of natural fire, 
that always put the old man in the background when he 
spoke after the sermon, as he very often did when Ryther 
preached. This naturally didn't make the Elder love 
him any too well, and when he refused to say he was 
sorry for shoving that sledge-hammer fist of his into 
Dan Marvin's pumpkin face, why it followed just as 
matter of course, like night and day, that Ryther would 



140 A Son of Old Harry. 

take away his license to exhort, and then Seth had to 
leave the church or own up he'd been in the wrong. 
He wasn't the kind of man to do that, and when he 
took to going to the Congregational meetings and stay- 
ing away from the Methodist services, it hurt them 
more'n it did him. He was so good a Christian, that 
he was at home in any sort of meeting, and people took 
sides with him on that account." 

" 'Cause there wasn't any pretense about him — not a 
mite," said the blacksmith, sticking the knife-blade 
under the tire of the wheel. " You ought to have these 
tires set, doctor !" 

" Been going to have it done this long time, but it 
hasn't come exactly handy. Well, you see, the people 
talked, and that made the Elder sour, so't when he 
came to preach the funeral sermon he thought he had a 
chance, to get even with Seth by just sending him to 
hell out and out, by the short cut and slippery road." 

" It was awful ; one could 'most smell the brim- 
stone." 

" Smell it ! It was so thick you could cut it up in 
chunks. I knew it would pretty near kill the boy to 
hear his father talked about that way and was actually 
glad when he jumped up and gave that yell, which I 
hope Ryther'll hear till his dying day. I don't know 
but he would have kept right on after they took the 
boy out, but I gave him a hint that the crowd wouldn't 
stand much more of that sort, and he kind of mellowed 
down." 

" It's just as well that he did ; it was only respect for 
Seth's folks that prevented trouble as it was." 

" Of course, and the old fool might have known it 
wouldn't do to say such things of a man that every- 
body believes is just about as sure of a good place in 
heaven as there are to be good places there. Ryther 



A Bit of Neighborly Gossip. 14 1 

did the church more harm that day than he's done it 
good the whole year, and if the bishop don't take him 
oflE the district when conference meets, there won't be 
enough members left here at Ortonville to hold an 
official meeting." 

" It's too bad — too bad, ' said Barclay, sorrowfully. 

" Well, I had a time, you may imagine, with that boy, 
for a week after that. Couldn't leave him a minute 
with any certainty how I'd find him when I got back. 
I'd made up my mind to save him and I did. You may 
guess how anxious I was by my going there three times 
in one day and then staying all night. One don't often 
do that with such a practice as I have." 

" I s'pose not," answered the blacksmith. 

" Then right on top of that came this matter about 
Hod. I expected 'twould throw the boy clear down 
again, but he don't seem to take it to heart as much as 
I s'posed he would. He's only anxious to know what's 
become of Hod, and don't seem to think he's done 
anything to run away for." 

" It's been rough on Hubert and the widow," said 
Barclay, with a sigh, " and the rest of us, too, for that 
matter. It's mighty disturbing to have such things 
happen in the neighborhood." 

He removed his foot from the step of the gig and 
looked up into the doctor's face, irresolutely. 

" That's so," rejoined the other, sympathetically. 
" You haven't heard any news, I suppose ?" 

The question was asked in a cautious tone, and with 
an almost imperceptible inclination of the head and eye 
toward the residence of the Goodwins. 

The conversation took place in front of Chris Bar- 
clay's shop early one morning a week after the 
great race. The blacksmith had hailed the doctor as he 
drove past, and drawing his stiff leather-apron to one 



142 A Son of Old Harry. 

side, had stood with one foot on the step attached to the 
shaft of the gig while he talked. His arms were bare 
to the elbow and his hands only lightly smutched, for he 
had just started a fire in the forge preparatory to begin- 
ning his day's work. His face was pale and his look 
one of sorrowful anxiety. 

" Wal — not to say news," answered Barclay, hesi- 
tantly. 

" Lots of surmises, no doubt ?" with an approach to a 
sneer." 

" Of course ; one couldn't help surmisin'." 

" 'Tain't a bit of use ; ain't nothing to build on, you 
see." 

" Perhaps not, but it's a sort of comfort, after all." 

" Mighty poor — might almost as well guess at the 
weather." He looked at the sky as he spoke, and 
added : " Are we going to get a shower to-day ?" 

" Don't see any signs of it," replied the smith, care- 
lessly glancing around the horizon. " How's Dan ?" 

" He's ^live, that's about all ; though that's a good 
deal in such a case. The longer a man lives after a 
whack like that the better the chance of his getting 
' well. The great danger is that he'll sink right off with- 
out any reaction. Of course, he just lives on brandy ; 
but that's been a good part of his subsistence for quite 
a while." 

" Any chance for him ?" 

" Well, yes ; I shouldn't wonder if he pulled through. 
You see he ain't of any such grain as the boy. His 
brain don't make any trouble on its own account any 
more than a steer's. If he once gets over the shock, 
he'll be up and around almost before you know it." 

" You don't think his skull's broke, then ?" 

** There may be a fracture, but there don't seem to be 



A Bit of Neighboi'ly Gossip. 143 

any depression ; and as long as there isn't he's likely to 
get well, if we can keep up his strength." 

" He isn't rational, I s'pose — hasn't said anything, I 
mean ?" 

•* O, bless your soul, no ; as soon as he becomes con- 
scious he'll be practically out of danger." 

" And you think that— that Hod did it ?" 

" Not a doubt about it ; if he didn't, who did ?" 

" But how did he come to be there — way long in the 
night, too ?" 

" Don't ask me to account for Hod Goodwin's where- 
abouts. Where was he for six weeks before the race ?" 

" Sure enough," said Barclay, with a start. " Why 
didn't I think of that afore ?" 

The suggestion evidently brought something to the 
blacksmith's mind which did not occur to the physician, 
for he smiled quietly as the doctor responded in a confi- 
dent tone. 

" If you didn't think of it, everybody else did. There 
isn't any doubt, though, about where he was night before 
last. Matthews swears he heard his whistle — you know 
one who has heard it once couldn't ever mistake it after- 
ward — along about one or two o'clock, over and over 
again, as if he was calling that mare of his. Then he 
heard voices down by the mouth of his lane ; then a pis- 
tol was fired, and he heard Hod's mare beating the 
devil's tattoo up the road toward home. In the morning 
there was his pistol lying in the road right beside of 
Dan, with the smoke-stain in the muzzle as fresh as if it 
hadn't been more'n an hour since it was fired off. Dan 
Marvin was lying there with his head broke, and half- 
way between Matthews's and Seth Goodwin's place was 
the very same rawhide the boy had the day of the race, 
all covered with blood. Horace Goodwin, the mare and 
saddle aren't to be found. What more do you want ?" 



144 ^ 'Son of Old Harry. 

" But Hod sat up with the boy till near midnight ; and 
there was his coat and vest and hat on the chair in his 
room. You don't imagine he went off naked, do you ?" 

"I s'pose Hod Goodwin's got more'n one suit of 
clothes, hasn't he ?" 

" Of course ; but how'd he come to be off down the 
road a half-mile away at that time of night ?" 

" Who says it was midnight when he left the house ?" 
asked the doctor, sharply. 

** Why, Mis' Goodwin. She says he called her just 
before twelve to set up the rest of the night with the 
boy." 

" Exactly ; and she says he stepped out doors then 
and hasn't been back since, don't she?" 

"Jest so." 

" 'Tain't a very likely story, is it ?" 

" You don't think Mis' Goodwin would lie, doctor ?" 

" Not ordinarily, and perhaps not straight out at 
any time ; but when you come to know women as well 
as I do, you'll find there aren't many of them that won't 
dodge the truth for the sake of those they love." 

" But Hod Goodwin ain't nothin* to her," incredulously. 

** Nothing to her ! Why, man alive, he's her hus- 
band's brother and the boy's uncle. He's a Goodwin, 
too, and a woman that marries into such a family as 
that, kind of marries the whole tribe, you know." 

" Susan Goodwin's an honest woman, doctor," said the 
blacksmith, sternly. 

" Who said a word against her honesty ? Don't you 
know, Chris Barclay, that the better a woman is the 
more she'll suffer for those she loves ?" 

" I s'pose so." 

" Don't you know that woman would cut off her right 
arm to save Hod Goodwin from State's prison or the 



A Bit of Neighboidy Gossip. 145 

gallows, and her husband's and son's name from dis- 
grace ?" 

"I s'pose she would," admitted Barclay. 

"Well, then, do you suppose she'd mind twisting 
the truth a little to accomplish that result ?" 

** I don't believe Susan Goodwin would lie — nor Hod 
Goodwin, either, doctor." 

" Oh, Hod didn't lie ; he cut and run. You've heard it 
said, no doubt, ' Flight is confession.' Hod confessed 
when he ran away." ,, 

" Confessed what ?" inquired the loyal neighbor. 

" Why the shooting and beating of Dan Marvin ?" 

" But Dan wasn't shot, was he ?" 

" Well — not as we know of." 

"I guess you'd have found it out if he had been, 
wouldn't you, doctor ?" 

" Yes — I guess so ; but Hod probably thought he was, 
and concluded he might as well finish him off with the 
butt of the whip." 

" Was there more'n one blow struck ?" 

" Oh, the whole side of his head is a perfect pumice, 
and he bled from his nose and ears like a stuck pig. 
That's what saved him. He must have been knocked 
down and picked right up bodily and jammed head 
first against that stump. Ain't many men could have 
done it. That's another point against Hod." 

" But how did Dan Marvin come to be there at that 
time of night — more'n a mile away from home ?" 

" There you've got me, Chris. I can't make it out." 

" You don't think Hod went and took him out of bed 
and dressed him and brought him way down there to 
kill him, do you ?" 

" Hardly," laughed the doctor. " But how do you 
account for those things ? Come now, let me cross- 
question you a while." 



146 A Son of Old Harry. 

"I don't account for them at all, doctor," answered 
the blacksmith, solemnly. " I can't. I only know a few 
things, but them I know as well as anybody," 

" Let's hear them," jocularly. 

" I know Hod Goodwin was at home close on to ten 
o'clock night before last, and that he had been sitting 
up with the boy more'n half the time for a week, besides 
all the other trouble he's had to go through with. 

" Well ?" 

" A man ain't apt to go frolickin' 'round ' twixt mid- 
night and day, under them circumstances, is he now ?" 

" Well, no — not as a rule." 

" I should think not. Now there's another thing I 
know, and so do you ; Horace Goodwin's been a little 
wild one time and another, but he's always been straight 
and square. Nobody ever knew him to do a mean 
thing, and there ain't a man in Roswell county whose 
word'll go farther than his — is there, now ?" 

" Not that I know of ; up to this last affair, that is." 

" Whatever else may be said of the Goodwins, they're 
proud as Lucifer ; now, ain't they ?" 

" That they are, Chris ; there's no denying that." 

" And Dan Marvin's been right the other way — a 
mean, sneakin', lyin' cuss, hasn't he ?" 

"You're about right there, too," assented the 
Esculapian gossip. 

" Well, now, admitting there'd been bad blood 
betwixt these two — though I don't believe Hod was 
ever the man to hold spite — what's likely to be the rights 
of this matter ? We'll admit one of 'em is found in the 
road a mile from home, his head broken, t' other one's 
pistol beside him, the other fellow's whip a hundred 
rods away, covered with blood, and that Matthews says 
he heard a whistle and voices in that direction ; heard 
a shot fired and a horse's step goin' up the road, 'tween 



A Bit of Neighborly Gossip, 147 

midnight and daybreak. We'll say the other man's 
missin', too — horse, saddle, bridle ; his nephew is lyin' 
just at the p'int of death ; his brother's been dead less 
than a fortnight. Them's about the facts, I think ?" 

''They'd had difficulties," suggested the physician, 
cautiously. 

He was a politic man, always found on the popular 
side in all neighborhood affairs, whenever he knew 
which was the popular one, and his opportunity for 
ascertaining this was such that he rarely made a mis- 
take. The public sympathy, which had been with the 
Goodwins at the time of the race, had been greatly 
strengthened by what had occurred afterward, until the 
morning of the day before, when Dan Marvin had been 
found lying by the roadside, half a mile south of Seth 
Goodwin's house, unconscious, breathing stertorously, 
and with his head resting in a pool of blood. Word 
was immediately carried back to Kincaid's by one of the 
drovers who made the discovery, and, either by acci- 
dent or design, the rumor was at once set afloat that 
Horace Goodwin had killed Dan Marvin. The horror 
which such an event inspires in a peaceful country 
neighborhood, was all that was needed to ripen this 
absurd suspicion into actual belief, in the minds of 
many, and even the wavering were staggered by the 
subsequently developed fact that Horace Goodwin and 
his mare were nowhere to be found. A warrant was at 
once issued, and men were sent to follow him to the 
northward and eastward, whither it was assumed that 
he had fled. 

The Marvins, a numerous and clannish family, were 
naturally very much excited and clamorous for ven- 
geance on the supposed aggressor. The whole region, • 
therefore, had been in a ferment the day before ; and 
Doctor Kelsey, though he had just come from the bed- 



148 A Son of Old Harry. 

side of the unconscious son, and the tearful eyes of the 
widow of Seth Goodwin, had not yet observed any turn 
in the tide of public sentiment and still reflected the 
heat and rage of yesterday's excitement. Chris Barclay 
had not slept since the terrible news was brought to him, 
just as he opened his shop, the morning of the day 
before. He was heavy-witted as men of great muscu- 
lar capacity are apt to be, but true and loyal to his 
friends. The popular resentment against Horace Good- 
win had been so fierce and the circumstances so inscrut- 
able that he could only stand dumb and helpless before 
them. During the night he had laboriously turned the 
matter over in his mind, walking back and forth up and 
down the " measured mile" until the dawn. He could 
not unravel the mystery, but he had determined to 
stand by his friend. The doctor was the first who had 
offered him opportunity to put his resolution into prac- 
tice. 

*' I never heard that they had actually come to blows, 
did you ?" 

" Hod gave him a bad throw at the barn-raising at 
Phinney's last year, you remember." 

" That was ring- wrestling, and Dan got it up himself. 
I was there and saw the whole thing. Hod threw him, 
as everybody knew he would, and he made a fuss because 
the ground was hard ; that's all there was of that. You 
know yourself, doctor, a man can't always pick out a 
soft place for one he's throwing over his head. One 
has to catch a lock when he can, and the fellow that's 
thrown must fall where he lights. That's wrestler's 
luck, and a man that is a man won't whine over it." 

" Well, you know there's been bad blood between 
them both before and since." 

" I know Dan Marvin has always been threatenin' to 
do them harm — Hod and Seth, both ; I've heard him 



A Bit of Neighborly Gossip. 149 

and so have you ; and you know what he did the day of 
the race?" 

" O, he was drunk, then." 

" Drunk ! Fudge ! People don't plan to murder 
folks when they're drunk." 

" You don't think he meant to kill the boy ?" 

" Don't I ? Do you know what kind of a club he had 
that day ? Jest wait a minute and I'll show you." 

The smith went into his shop and soon returned with 
a large club, the bark of which had been cut off in short 
occasional cuts, forming a checkered spiral line which 
wound around it from end to end. 

" There 'tis ; Hank Wilder picked it up and gave it to 
me that day. I told him not to say anything about it, 
and brought it home and laid it on the plate of the shop. 
Nobody else has set eyes on it from that day to this. 
Now, what do you think of a club like that ? Just heft 
it once." 

" It's a deadly weapon," answered the doctor, with a 
grave look upon his face. 

** I should think it was ! I'd just as soon be hit with 
my sledge-hammer. Why, doctor, that's three feet long, 
green blue-beech, an inch and a half through at one 
end, an inch and a quarter at the other and most as 
heavy as lead. I could break your gig all to smash with 
it." 

He hit the wheel a resounding blow as he spoke. 

" There, there ; don't try it on that ! It's a dangerous 
weapon, and goes to show the bad blood between 
them." 

" On his part ; not on Hod's. There ain't no doubt 
but he had bad blood." 

"The Goodwins have got a temper of their own," 
said the doctor, with a shrug. " Even the boy left a 
bad mark on Dan that day, in spite of his war- club." 



150 A Son of Old Harry. 

" Hubert is a good boy," rejoined the blacksmith, 
gravely, " and as brave as Julius Caesar. He knew 
what was comin' that day, or near enough to guess. 
Hod wanted him to carry a pistol, and I borrowed one 
for him to practice with," 

" Why didn't Hod use his own ?" 

" Sure enough !" exclaimed the simple-minded black- 
smith. " I remember now ; he said he'd lent it or sold 
it, I don't remember which, more'n a year ago ; but 
Hubert will know all about it when he gets well." 

It was curious how everybody called the boy by the 
name his father had used as soon as the father was 
dead. 

" Did he have it the day of the race ?" 

" Hod gave it back to me two or three days before, 
and said that Hubert thought he'd rather not have it, 
for fear he might kill somebody," 

" And you think Horace had no pistol at that time ?" 

" Don't believe he's had one for a year." 

" Then this one that was found in the road," sug- 
gested the doctor, " wasn't his, perhaps ?" 

" I declare, doctor, how you do see things ?" inter- 
rupted Barclay, gleefully. " I never thought of that !" 

The other nodded complacently. 

" Now, what's the sense of turnin' in all of a sudden 
without stoppin' to think, and gettin' out a warrant 
againvSt Hod ?" 

" Knocking a man senseless on the highway is a 
pretty serious affair." 

" Any worse'n killin' a man ?" 

" Killing a man ? Who's killed ?" 

" It's my notion. Hod Goodwin is." 

" Why, Chris Barclay ! What's put that idea in your 
head ? It — it — why, man, it's preposterous !" 

" Maybe to you, but to a man who don't jump at his 



A Bit of Neighborly Gossip. 1 5 1 

conclusions like a grasshopper, it ain't so very absurd. 
I don't blame you so much, A doctor's always got to 
shoot off-hand, and is likely to miss his sights some- 
times. But I pondered all one day and tramped pretty 
much all night, afore I could make head or tail of this 
matter." 

" And what is your conclusion, Mr. Barclay ?" asked 
the doctor, with a deference he had not before mani- 
fested. 

"Well, doctor," rejoined the smith, throwing his 
apron back over his shoulder, so as to enable him to 
take a plug of tobacco from his trowsers' pocket, " I've 
concluded this : Dan Marvin wasn't there by Matthews's 
Lane at that time of night for no good ; and he was 
there for some sort of harm to Hod Goodwin. If that 
was so, he wasn't there alone — he's too big a coward for 
that — and it's my notion he and whoever it was with him 
meant to steal Hod's mare, or do him some bodily 
harm. They probably did both — killed him and run off 
the mare. You know there's a desperate gang of horse- 
thieves down towards Kentucky line. They didn't have 
a chance to take Dan along, or else didn't care to, and 
probably took Hod away just to prevent the body being 
found and a hue and cry for murder raised before they 
got out of the State." 

" Why, Mr. Barclay, you don't think so !" 

" That's just what I do think," replied the smith, cut- 
ting off a chew of tobacco and putting it in his mouth. 
" And I don't ever expect to see Hod Goodwin alive 
again." 

'• But there was no traces of any one else where the 
body was found !" 

"Now, doctor, that's too ridiculous. As if you didn't 
know that a drove of two hundred mules and horses 
came up from Kincaid's just at daylight, and the men 



152 A So7i of Old Harry. 

who were driving them were the first to find Marvin 
What trace would there be after that herd had tramped 
over the road ? If they'd stopped the brutes and let 
me gone along the road, I'd soon found where the mare 
went to." 

"Sure enough," replied the doctor, swinging his fat 
leg back into the gig and taking up the reins, ready to 
depart. '* I hadn't looked at it in that light. But if 
they came after horses, why didn't they take the colt.' 
He's worth more than the mare." 

" So he is ; but you seem to forget that he's about 
the hardest horse to manage that was ever known in 
this region — kind as a kitten to them he likes, but 
worse'n the devil to one he takes a spite against." 

** I ought to know that ; he came at me once with his 
mouth open, as if he'd eat me up, just because I cracked 
my whip at him, going through the yard one day. He 
never forgot it, either. He'll lay his ears back and 
show his teeth at sight of me yet." 

" Exactly ; that's his way ; been like a pet dog all his 
life. I've always shod him, and he don't mind me. I've 
never hurt nor angered him ; but I wouldn't under- 
take to get him out of that box-stall of his, especially 
at night, for a good deal ; would you ?" 

" I ? Not for a ten-acre lot full just like him." 

" Now, I'll tell you a queer thing, doctor. I went up 
to the barn at Goodwin's, yesterday morning, just to 
look around a little, and I found the pin gone out of 
that sliding-door and the horse had a halter on — a thing 
he hasn't worn in the barn since he was a yearlin'. I 
looked in, and found blood on the inside of the door. 
The colt seemed glad to see somebody he knew, and I 
took off the halter, and found there was blood on that, 
too." 



A Bit of Neighborly Gossip. 153 

" You don't tell me !" exclaimed the doctor, excit- 
edly. " What do you suppose it means ?" 

" I don't know." 

" Well, I'm sure I don't. Really, we are getting to be 
a very mysterious community. First Hod and the boy 
are lost for a month ; then the nigger Kincaid had bor- 
rowed disappears ; and now one man's gone entirely 
and another's likely to go, and nobody knows anything 
about who did it or what it was done for." 

He tightened his reins and clucked to his horse, which 
had been contentedly nodding while his master talked. 

" Nothing been heard of the nigger, I suppose ?" said 
Barclay, carelessly. 

" Nor ever will be," was the answer. " He disappeared 
right here on the track the day of the races, just as if 
the earth had opened and swallowed him up. Kin- 
caid'll have to pay a pretty sum for his loss. But he's 
able and he shouldn't race with a man that always has 
the very devil's luck with horses, like Hod Goodwin, if 
he didn't want to lose ; that's what I tell him. I wouldn't 
risk a dollar against anything that Hod backed, if it 
was a brindle steer against Eclipse." 

" Well, you couldn't lose anything if you didn't bet," 
laughed Barclay. 

" Just what I tell Kincaid. He's got a lot of men out 
watching all the roads to catch that nigger ; but I tell 
him it's no Use. It's my opinion the Abolitionists had a 
hand in his disappearance anyhow. I should have sus- 
pected Seth, if he hadn't died that very nigUt, and 
Ryther, if he hadn't been so savage on Seth. It's about 
the only thing they ever really agreed on. But, of 
course, that's out of the question. It's my notion some- 
body took him off in a wagon, and probably before 
Kincaid's men started out they got him half-way to 
Canada," 



154 ^ ^o'f^ ^/ O^^ Harry. 

" Shouldn't wonder." 

" Well, good morning." 

The doctor whipped up his drowsy nag and drove off. 

" Well," said Barclay, looking after him with a smile, 
** I've given him something to talk about, anyhow. He's 
just as sure to repeat what I've said in every house he 
goes into to-day, as he is to lie to his patients. He 
won't say a word about me or my notions either — they'll 
all be his ideas. That's his way — just as sly as a fox. 
Before noon he'll have told the story so often he'll actu- 
ally think it's his own wares he's peddlin'. Well, it 
can't do no harm, and is just as likely to be true as any 
other guess. I'm goin* up to the camp though, to see 
what's there. Queer, I never thought of that before." 

He drew out the fire he had started upon the forge, 
locked the shop, and crossing the ravine to his house, 
took down his gun and whistled to the dog. In 
response to his wife's inquiry, he said that he had heard 
a turkey gobbling " up in the clearing " and thought he 
would try and get a shot at it. He did not tell her he 
might not be back until late. When she saw him take 
his gun she knew that he would return either when he 
had secured the game he set out to take, or had given 
up all hope of doing so. She always expected him, she 
said — when he came. 




CHAPTER II. 



A BEATEN BULLY. 



" Do you think I'll get well, doctor ?" 

The voice was low, and the face that looked lip at 
Doctor Kelsey from the coarse pillow had a timid piti- 
fulness which was rendered almost grotesque by the 
bluish grayness of the close-shaved scalp above. Instead 
of answering, the doctor rose and put aside the calico 
curtain which was drawn across the window at the head 
of the bed, and, returning, sat down by the bedside, 
took the patient's wrist and narrowly scanned the coarse, 
ashen-hued face with a livid mark running diagonally 
across it. 

" When did this change take place ?" he asked of a 
tall, blacked-haired woman who stood at the foot of the 
bed. 

The room was a small one — the ordinary family bed- 
room in a half -furnished farm-house. In length, it 
exceeded, by perhaps two feet, the bedstead whose 
stained, curled-maple posts were turned to represent a 
series of spheres with variously beaded and decorated 
intervals between them. There was a space of three or 
four feet in front of the bed, which had a valance of 
cheap, coarse-figured calico. The door opened into the 
kitchen where the table was spread for breakfast, which 
part ot the family had eaten. The room was unfinished 



156 A Son of Old Harry. 

— a convenient addition to the main building, being 
neither ceiled or plastered. The inside of the lapped 
poplar siding showed a creamy white between the 
unplaned studding. Clothing for men and women was 
hung indiscriminately on nails driven into the joists. 
The room was rough but not uncomfortable. The 
woman the doctor addressed stood leaning against 
a bed-post, her head resting upon the ball on its top, 
while her hand grasped the narrow post below. 

" He seemed to wake up kind of sensible this morn- 
ing," she said, apologetically, in answer to his demand, 
" and begun to talk and ask questions ; but he didn't 
get this blue, peaked look, nor seem shivery and low- 
spirited till just a few minutes ago. Do you think he's 
worse, doctor ?" 

The anxious eyes in the pallid face upon the pillow 
watched the physician eagerly, and the pale lips trem- 
bled as they waited his reply. The doctor knit his brow 
and pursed his lips, 

" He ought to get well without any difficulty, now he 
has regained consciousness," said he, finally, " but this 
doesn't look like it. What's he been doing ?" 

'* Do you think it's his — his mind, doctor ?" asked the 
woman, tearfully. 

" His mind ?" repeated the other, with a half-percepti- 
ble chuckle. " I shouldn't expect that to trouble him 
much." 

" I mean — if — if there was anything on it." 

" Eh ? What ?" queried the doctor, facing around and 
turning his head sidewise upon his short, fat neck, to 
look up at her. 

" His — his conscience, you know !" she replied, put- 
ting a handkerchief to her eyes, and sobbing dis- 
tractedly. 



The Beaten Bully. 157 

" You haven't been talking religion to him, I hope ?" 
the physician ejaculated, angrily. 

" But, doctor," expostulated the woman. 

" Don't talk to me," he interrupted. " I see what's 
the matter. These over-pious people kill more than 
sickness and fool-doctors both," 

He caught up his saddle-bags, swung them angrily 
over one knee, and began to unbuckle them with the 
deftness which comes only from long practice. 

" This boy of yours has been bad enough in all con- 
science, Mrs. Marvin," he continued, reprovingly, " but 
you ought to have had sense enough not to begin to 
talk religion to a man just out of a comatose condition. 
The very purpose of giving him a stimulant was to 
prevent this reaction that is just coming on. I don't 
know whether I'll be able to check it or not. If I don't, 
there's no chance, and he'll just die because his mother 
hadn't sense enough to let him live." 

" But, doctor, it wasn't me," protested the woman ; 
" I didn't say anything — only begged him to keep still. 
It was himself ; he's got that on his mind won't let him 
rest, you see." 

" Won't let him rest ?" asked the doctor, in surprise. 

** He says he can't ever rest till he knows what's 
become of Hod Goodwin." 

" Nobody knows ; you're the last one that's seen him, 
for he hasn't been about these parts since he came so 
near killing you," the doctor said, looking questioningly 
at the anxious face on the pillow. 

*' But it wasn't Hod — at all ; that hurt me, I mean." 

" Wasn't him — who was it, then ?" 

" It wasn't anybody," said the sick man, stubbornly. 

" Wasn't anybody ? Don't tell me. You don't expect 
me to believe you did it yourself, do you ?" 

■' Better tell him, Dan," said the woman, resignedly ; 



158 A Son of Old Uiwry. 

" you'll feel better afterward. I knew he'd been sort of 
wild, doctor," she added, " but I didn't evej think it 
would come to this." 

She buried her face again in the handkerchief, and, 
leaning against the high post, shook the bed with her 
sobs. 

" It — was — the — the horse," whispered the man, 
weakly. 

" The horse ?" 

** Yes, doctor," said the woman, raising her head in 
desperation, " he's a thief — a horse-thief — my Dan is ! 
Think of that ! I wish I had died before I ever heard 
the words ! He didn't get it from me, doctor. There 
wasn't never any thieves in the Russell family — nor from 
his father, either. He isn't as good as some men, but 
he never took nothin' that wasn't his — never !" she 
exclaimed, wildly. 

" A thief ! What do you mean ?" asked the physician. 

" Tell him all about it, ma," said the young man, his 
teeth chattering and the blue lips quivering. 

" Here ! You take this and keep still. Bring me 
some water and a spoon !" the doctor commanded, 
sharply. 

He snatched a bottle from his saddle-bags, removed 
the cork, took out a portion of the white powder it con- 
tained on the point of his knife-blade, jogged it with 
his fore-finger and dropped it into the worn pewter 
spoon the woman brought. Then he drew the blade 
across his tongue and glanced again at the label with 
accustomed caution — testing both by sight and taste his 
accuracy — dipped up a little water in the spoon, stirred 
the powder -into it with his knife-blade, and, while the 
woman raised her son's head, placed the spoon between 
the blue lips, 



The Beaten Bully. 159 

" There, you go to sleep now ! Everything will be 
all right. " I'll tend to it ; don't you worry." 

" Tell him all about it, ma," repeated the young man, 
with weak compliance. 

The mother smoothed the pillow ; the physician sat 
with his fingers on the patient's wrist, his glance riveted 
on the weazened, timorous face. For a while no one 
moved or spoke. Presently the eyes of the invalid 
closed, he drew a long breath and sank into a quiet 
slumber. The doctor waited a moment longer. Then 
he rose softly, dropped the curtain into place over the 
window, and, nodding to the woman, went out into the 
other room. 

" Won't you have some breakfast, doctor ?"she asked, 
as she gently closed the door. " Everybody's eat and 
gone. You must have started early." 

" I haven't much time, but I'll take a bite, while you 
tell me about this matter, if it's no trouble." 

" Not a bit," said the woman as she took a plate of 
biscuits from a tin oven before the fire, also one of fried 
pork and some roasted potatoes. She did not tell him 
thai it was her own breakfast which she had put aside 
untasted. The doctor's early morning ride had not 
impaired his appetite. 

" Well ?" he said, inquiringly, looking up from his 
plate. 

The woman sat opposite, her long figure clad in coarse, 
slatternly garments, her black uncombed hair half fall- 
ing from its coil, and her great dark eyes filled with a 
pathetic hopelessness, while the tears ran silent and 
unheeded down her faded cheeks. 

" I s'pose I've got t' tell you, doctor ; everybody'll 
have to know it, in fact. It wasn't young Goodwin at 
all. I don't bear him no good-will, for he led Dan into 
bad ways — a-t least I've always believed he did — I don't 



i6o A Son of Old Harry. 

know now ; perhaps I was mistaken. At any rate, he 
didn't hurt Dan." 

The tears fell on the dark wrinkled hands that lay in 
her lap. 

" Who did, then ?" 

" It was the horse — the one that won the race, you 
know. I might as well out with it ; he won't ever get 
well unless I do ; I knew that as soon as he told me. 
It's the Lord's will, and perhaps his soul'll be saved even 
if his body does rot in jail. It was the horse, doctor," 
she repeated. " You see, some of them horse-thieves 
down along the line — the Lewis gang — were up here 
the day of the race, and somehow they managed to get 
hold of Dan, and together they fixed it up finally, when 
the lick he got that day had kind of healed up — to go 
and steal the colt and the mare both. There was three 
of them, Dan says, one on a horse who stayed down at 
the road to watch while Dan and the other fellow went 
to the barn for the horses. They got the mare out and 
saddled her, and then Dan went in after the colt. He 
knew just what a temper the critter's got, but he wasn't 
ever afraid of anything. So he took a halter and went 
into the stall and managed to get it on the beast's head ; 
but when he started to lead him out, the colt reared up 
and beat and pawed him till he hadn't a bit of sense left, 
and he didn't know nothin' more till he came to him- 
self this morning." 

" Where's Horace Goodwin, then ?" 
*' That's what troubles him, doctor. As soon's I told 
him what had happened, an' that Hod wasn't to be 
found nowhere, high nor low, he said he was a murderer 
as well as a thief. You see he's afraid them other fel- 
lows have made way with him and run off the mare." 

** It does look that way, sure enough," said the doctor, 
starting up. " But how'd Dan come to be found way 



The Beaten Bully. i6i 

down below Matthews's place, if he got hurt at the 
stable ?" 

*' He don't know no more about it than a babe unborn," 
answered the mother, solemnly. *' I've tried him every 
which way, and there's no doubt about that. He's a 
horse-thief, doctor, and may never get well — I most 
hope he won't ; but this I will say for him — he never 
lied to his mother — not that I know of, at least." 

" How did it happen that he was not cut by the 
horse's hoofs ?" 

" He says the colt must have reared up and kind of 
hit him on the top of the head. They had taken ofE his 
shoes after the race, when he grew so valuable all at 
once, it seems, and put on a sort of leather boots, com- 
ing up over the hoofs to keep 'em soft. That's what 
Dan says, at least." 

" Exactly ; that explains what I couldn't account for." 

The doctor walked the floor a moment in deep 
thought, stepped into the bedroom, came back and 
made up a half-dozen powders. 

" He's doing well now," he said ; " sleeping, with a 
light sweat breaking out. Give him one of these pow- 
ders every hour if he wakes, but don't wake him. He 
ate something this morning ?" 

"Just a mouthful of gruel." 

" You might have a bit of chicken-broth ready against 
he asks for it. And if I were you, Mrs. Marvin, I 
wouldn't say anything to anybody about — this matter, 
you know. There's no use of going out to meet trouble. 
It may pass over without amounting to much. He's 
paid pretty dear for what he's done already. I'll try 
and be round again in the afternoon, and may be able 
to advise you better then. At any rate, take care of 
Dan. It all depends, on care now — care and quiet — and 
freedom from worry." 



1 62 A Son of Old Harry. 

" If we only knew about Hod Goodwin," said the 
troubled woman, anxiously, 

" We know which way to look for him now, at any 
rate," answered the doctor, as he took up his saddle- 
bags and made his way to the gig beside the gate. 
What wonder that he drove away at a somewhat 
unusual pace ? He was the wisest man in all the town- 
ship, even if he did not know much about the matter he 
was burning to relate. 



CHAPTER HI. 

A runaway's nest. 

Chris Barclay drew near the place where the son of 
Abdallah had been trained, with all the caution an 
Indian uses in approaching the camp of an enemy. 
Just what he expected to find there he could not have 
told. Indeed, he could hardly be said to have expected 
to find anything. Perhaps the nearest approach to a 
distinct hypothesis which he had yet formed was that 
Horace Goodwin might have committed the act with 
which he was charged, been wounded in the struggle, 
and hidden away here to await recovery before making 
his escape. If this should prove to be true, what did he 
intend to do ? He did not know. He was a law-abiding 
man. Though a friend and a most zealous and faithful 
friend of Horace Goodwin, he could not stand by him as 
a law-breaker. He doubted if he could conscientiously 
aid him to escape ; but he was not bound to apprehend 
him or give information that would lead to his arrest. 
So he reasoned with himself, as he stole noiselessly 



A Runaways Nest. 163 

along the wood paths with that instinctive avoidance of 
all that would betray his presence, which only the 
experienced woodsman ever acquires. 

He had heard that one who aided another to escape the 
clutches of the law was guilty of a crime ; but he 
assured himself that if he found his friend wounded and 
helpless, the law could not blame him for relieving his 
need. However, it was just as well that no one should 
know what sort of errand he was on. Perhaps his idea 
was a mere fancy. Probably all he would find would 
be the deserted sugar-camp and the cooking utensils left 
there by the trainers. He had been in the secret ; had 
shod the colt, and had spent several jolly nights there 
just before the great race. He knew that the death of 
the elder brother and the illness of the boy had pre- 
vented Horace from removing the things they had used. 
How chill and lonesome it would seem to find the cabin 
silent and deserted ! There is nothing in the world so 
desolate as an abandoned camp. He thought it probable 
that the squirrels had made havoc with the clothing and 
provisions. It is queer what eager investigators the little 
rascals are, A camp seems to attract them as honey does 
flies. It cannot be the expectation of plunder, for they 
may never have seen one before. It must be the instinct 
of curiosity — a desire to satisfy themselves about unex- 
pected things. They will wait and watch for days and 
take advantage of the first hour's absence to come and 
explore, Chris Barclay laughed to himself as he 
thought what a jolly time they would have at the 
deserted training-camp. Besides the 'remnants of 
cooked food, there was plenty of meat — salt pork of 
which they are so ravenously fond — a bread-box they 
had no doubt found a way into, apples, potatoes, eggs 
and a keg of cider, He'wondered if the rascally shadow- 
tails had tapped that and relished its contents, Almost 



164 A So7i of Old Harry. 

before he knew it, he was at the edge of the little cleared 
space in which the camp stood. 

He stopped and scrutinized it through the branches 
of an alder-bush that grew beside the stream. There 
was nothing stirring and everything about the place was 
as silent as the grave ; yet somehow the place did not 
seem deserted. There was a black squirrel hopping 
along an opening upon the hillside back of the cabin, 
and a gray one sitting on a stump across the stream, 
shaking his silver brush in the sunlight and chee-chee- 
ing to one hidden in the limbs of a chestnut, on the bank 
above. But there were none about the cabin or on the 
pile of wood against it. Chris Barclay knew by this 
that the camp was occupied as well as if he had the testi- 
mony of actual sight. But by whom ? He did not 
know ; somehow, now that it lay there before him, in 
the hot summer sunshine, he did not care to guess. He 
wished he had not come, and had serious thoughts of 
retracing his steps. While he waited, the neigh of a 
horse sounded on the still air. 

" Old Queen," he said to himself, " I could almost 
swear to her voice ; I expect the critter has winded me." 

He moistened his finger with his lips and held it up 
to find the direction of the wind, not otherwise appreci- 
able. 

"Yes," he continued, "that's it. Wind lays just as 
square to the camp as one could point a compass. She's 
got a mighty delicate nose, that mare has, and is as 
sharp as a watch-dog. Now, who's with her ? 'Tain't 
no use of askin*. Wherever she is. Hod Goodwin ain't 
very faraway. If I thought he was well and hearty I'd 
turn around and go home, but there ain't no sense in 
thinking so. Hod ain't the man to sneak out of any- 
thing he's done. But then, v/hat's he hid away here 
for ? I don't like it, I vow I don't." 



A Rujiaway's jYes/, 165 

He shook his head in perplexity, and let the stock of 
his gun rest on the ground while he took out his tobacco, 
opened his knife and very deliberately cut off a new 
supply of his favorite luxury. When he had done this, 
he turned his attention again to the camp. 

" Well, by thunder ! What next ?" he exclaimed. 
The .sight that met his gaze was well-calculated to 
awaken surprise. In the door of the cabin appeared 
the diminutive form of the jockey who had ridden the 
Gray Eagle, still wearing the suit which had been so 
conspicuous on the day of the race. He was a light 
mulatto, of slender frame and bright, intelligent fea- 
tures. Glancing quickly up and down the narrow 
valley, he came forward a few steps, and scrutinized, 
with evident anxiety, his surroundings. The hot July 
sun beat down upon his head, unprotected save by the 
mass of hair that lay kinked and matted on his crown. 
Chris Barclay stood and watched him from his place of 
concealment, scarcely a hundred yards away. There 
was another whinny. The boy turned inquiringly and 
looked down the path, glanced quickly from side to side, 
held his breath to listen, and finally, shaking his head 
and muttering to himself, walked slowly back to the 
cabin. After a moment there came another whinny of 
apparent recognition. 

" The old gal knows who 'tis she's winded," said the 
blacksmith, with a certain satisfaction. " She certainly 
is the most knowin' horse I ever run across in my life. 
I've known her to come to the shop of her own accord 
more'n once, and hold up her feet to be shod.* I 

* This may seem an incredible statement, but some years ago 
the writer was the owner of a Mambrino-Morgan mare, who, 
being left unfastened, as was customary, before his office door, 
went not once but many times to the smith's shop around the 



i66 A Son of Old Harry. 

wonder what the nigger is going to do now ?" This 
remark was caused by the reappearance of the boy, 
wearing his jockey cap and jacket, and coming 
straight down the path beside which the smith was 
standing. 

" Hello !" he called, as the boy sprang across the 
narrow stream and stood almost within arm's length of 
him, stepping forward as he spoke. The boy's face 
grew pale, and he turned instinctively as if to fly. A 
single glance at the athletic blacksmith, however, 
appeared to change his purpose, and he looked up with 
an air of relief, and said, with real gratification in his 
tone : 

" I 'clare, Marse Barclay, I's mighty glad ter see you. 
I war jes' gwine dewn ter your house arter you." 

" You were ?" incredulously. 

" I war that, shore." 

" Wanted me to take you back to Kaintuck, I s'pose ?" 
said the blacksmith, with grim sarcasm. 

" I warn't thinkin' 'bout that — at least, I'd quit 
thinkin' 'bout it jes' now. I wanted you for _somebody 
else." 

" What do you mean ?" asked Barclay, with sudden 
alarm. 

" Jes' you come an' see." 

The boy turned and recrossed the brook, the smith 
following on a line of stepping-stones placed there for 
the purpose. The jockey went straight to the cabin, 
which he entered, and Barclay, coming close behind 
him, saw lying on the pile of hay which had served as 
their bed while training the colt, the form of Horace 

corner where she was accustomed to be shod, and put up one 
foot after another for inspection, returning afterward of her 
own accord to her usual standing-place. 



A R7i7iaway s Nest. 167 

Goodwin, his face flushed, and his breathing dull and 
heavy. As he looked, the boy stooped down, and, 
uncovering the shoulder, showed a bloody bandage 
around it. 

" Shot ?" said Barclay. 

The boy nodded. The smith stared in dumb amaze- 
ment at this unexpected confirmation of his surmise. 
He had never been accounted a wise man, nor even 
esteemed himself one, and that he should have guessed 
the truth, or even a part of the truth in regard to 
Horace Goodwin's disappearance, seemed to hopelessly 
confound his faculties. He watched the bc^ replace the 
covering, rise, and look inquiringly at him. 

" How'd he come here ?" was the only question he 
could ask. 

" Rode the mare." 

" When ?" 

" Night afore last. You see, I was a hidin' out here, 
and way 'long in de night I heard somebody jes' come 
a-chargin* up the path, an' see a hoss — it was bright 
moonlight, yer know — stop with head right in de doo' 
and the feet jes' a-trampin' in the rushes there. I was 
layin' low over the back part of de pile o' hay nex' to de 
rof, an' I could jes' see her head an' fore-shoulders ag'in't 
the light. I didn't know who 'twas on her, but I thought 
they'd tracked me, an' my time hed come." 

*' What were you doing here, anyhow ?" asked Bar- 
clay, suspiciously. Though he knew the boy was a run- 
away slave, the fact was such an unusual one to his 
mind, that it kept slipping away. 

" It was my onliest chance, you know. Marse Mosely 
was dar on de groun', an' Miss Deely, she tole me 
dey was gwine ter start back with me fo' Kaintuck 
that night. I knew he'd be fractious' ca'se he'd lost, too, 
but law sakes, it warn't no use fer dat ole hoss ter try 



1 68 A Son of Old Harry. 

ter do nothin' wid dat colt. He certain is a flyer from 
way back. De little miss knew I wanted to get away 
where I'd be free, an* she tole me 'bout dis yere place. 
'Twas all of a suddin, not a minit to think, an' while 
all de rousement an' hullabaloo was gwine on about de 
race I slipped off, an' 'fore anybody'd missed me, I 
s'pose, was hid in de big trof under de hay." 

" What made you stay here so long ?" 

" What else was I ter do ? Didn't everybody fer fifty 
miles round know dese clo'es ?" 

He glanced at his jockey suit as he spoke. 

" Sure enough," assented Barclay, with a nod, 

"Wal, I des corncluded I'd bes' stay right here ez 
long as de provisions held out," the boy continued, with 
a grin. " I thought people might fergit 'bout it after 
a while, er I might git somebody ter help me. I'd 'bout 
made up ter come an' see you, Marse Barclay." 

" You had ?" 

" 'Deed I had, sah." 

" What for ?" 

" Didn't know but you might help me — or know 
somebody dat would. You was always mighty kind 
when I come 'bout de shoein'." 

** But I — well, I'm thundering glad you didn't. My 
wife's down on the Abolitionists the worst way." 

The honest fellow took off his palm-leaf hat and 
fanned himself to relieve the sudden heat induced by 
the thought of what might have been the result of such 
an appeal. 

" I'd hev come ef it hadn't been fer — fer him," with a 
glance toward the sleeper. 

" What did he say when he found you here ?" 

" Say ? Lor' bless yer, he war done past sayin' enny- 
thin', he war. The mare she stood and whinnied once 
or twicet, jes' ez ef she was a-callin' somebody, you 



A Runaways Nest. 169 

know, an' I thought I heard a sort of groan. After a 
long while I crawled out as keerful ez I could, that mare 
callin' ter me all de time ter hurry up an' come along, 
jes' ez plain ez ef she could talk almost, an' when I got 
to de doo' an' peeked out dere was somebody jes' a-layin' 
down on her an' hangin' onto her neck. 

" Den I was wuss scart'n I'd been afore ; but I thought 
I'd ez well do somethin' ez nuthin,' 'case de mare was 
pawin' an whinnyin' ez ef she thought I was des a 
stupid fool. So I went an' took hold of him an' tried to 
lif him down ; but I couldn't. So I led de mare in 
here, and after a while got his hands loose an' kind o' 
eased him down on de hay. The mare she went on into 
de stall as soon as I got him off an' began to eat ez ef 
she knew she'd done her part. 

" I made up a light — I'd found some fire in de ashes 
an' kept it mighty keerful — an' got some water an 
washed his face. His shirt — he hadn't no coat on — 
was all covered wid blood. I was lookin' round fer 
de place he was hit, when he spoke up an' axed fer 
a drink. I giv' him some water, an' after that his 
head was cla'r, but he was powerful weak — he'd bled 
so much, you see. As soon ez I'd found de place where 
he wuz hit, he made me tell him all 'bout it, whar it was 
an' how it looked, an' then tole me whar to git some 
cloth that I tore up an' wet in cold water an' bound on 
it. He said that was better'n nothin', an' in de mornin' 
he'd tell me what else ter do. When it come mornin', 
he said he guessed I'd better go an' see you when it 
come night again — though he hadn't quite decided. He 
seemed powerful anxious that I shouldn't go in de day- 
time, which suited me, too ; but afore night he was 
out'n his head, though he tried his best ter keep up, an' 
I did all I could for him." 

" Did he tell you how it happened ?" 



170 A Sou of Old Harry. 

" Nary word," said the boy, cautiously, 

*' I 'lowed 'twas a * difficulty betwixt gentlemen,' sah, 
dat de least said about de better, I thought he might 
be hidin* out, too, an' it wouldn't hurt my chances none 
ter have company, ef he once got well." 

" That wasn't a bad idea, either," said Barclay, " but 
what's to be done, now ?" 

He stooped and put his hand on his friend's forehead, 
and then felt his wrist. 

" Seems mighty fevery, don't he ? Ought to have a 
doctor — but who knows if — if it would be safe to get 
one. Just let me try to think a while. 'Pears as if that 
darned race was goin' to break up the whole neighbor- 
hood," 

The sturdy smith sat down upon the stump beside the 
door and fanned himself while he undertook the task 
more wearisome to him than the labor of the anvil — of 
trying to think out the puzzle which had so unexpect- 
edly presented itself for solution. 



CHAPTER IV. 



OUT OF THE EAST, 



" Doctor, I wish you'd drive down into the pasture 
with me ; I want to show you something." 

" I'd like to, Chris, but I'm in a great hurry ; so many 
folks sick, it keeps me riding all the time. Heard any- 
thing since morning ?" 

The doctor pulled up his gig in the open space before 
Barclay's shop. The cinders crunched beneath the 
wheels. The door of the shop stood open, and the fire 



''Out of the East" 171 

shone brightly upon the forge still blown into white, spark- 
ling flame by the weight upon the bellows which the smith 
had just quit working. A hammer lay upon the glitter- 
ing anvil. A tub of water stood in the middle of the 
shop with various forms of pincers hung around its sides. 
Other tools were scattered on the forge. His shoeing- 
box, with its appropriate kit, stood beside the anvil. 
Metallic scales, cinders and hoof- clippings littered the 
earthen floor. 

The shop was rough-boarded and unpainted. The 
weather and the sooty dust had given it that peculiar 
brown which no other building ever acquires. Over the 
door was the modest sign. 



C. BARCLAY, 
Blacksmith. 



On one of the doors was burned the form of a horse- 
shoe ; on the other, a square and compass. The outside 
of these doors, and the whole front of the shop indeed, 
were decorated with notices written and printed, of 
various matters supposed to be of interest to the public. 
Wagons and parts of wagons, in all stages of dilapida- 
tion and repair, stood about the yard or leaned against 
the shop. A frame for the setting of wagon-tires stood 
at one side, its surface curiously scarred by the hot rims 
which had rested on it. At one end of the shop was a 
path deeply worn in the clayey soil that led to a spring 
half-way down the bank. 

Despite the incongruity of its surroundings, there was 
a certain order in their arrangement and a sort of neat- 



172 A Son of Old Harry. 

ness about the shop which at once impressed the 
beholder. Chris Barclay was termed " fussy " about his 
shop, and it was said to be not less his inclination than 
the wish of his wife, who was a noted housekeeper, that 
had separated the shop by the width of the sharp, nar- 
row valley from the neat white house, with its green 
blinds, and yard filled with blossoming shrubs and sur- 
rounded by a white picket-fence. That was his wife's 
domain ; the shop upon the opposite hill was his. He 
never crossed the valley between, with his apron on. 
If his wife came to the shop, as she sometimes did, it 
was always as a guest ; and if she sat for an hour or two 
upon the end of the high forge away from the sparks and 
watched her stalwart husband at his work, it was simply 
because there was no other neighbor whom she cared to 
visit at that time. She asked no questions about his 
business, and never presumed to look into the smutty 
dog-eared account-book in his desk, until he brought it 
home at night and read to her while she posted the 
entries in the ledger. It was said in the neighborhood 
that it had been mutually agreed between the husband 
and the wife that he should be the master upon one hill 
and she the mistress on the other, and that the rugged 
blacksmith, who was so dictatorial at the shop, was 
meek enough in the domain of the sharp-tongued little 
woman who looked after his earnings, and made his 
home a model noted for miles around for its neatness. 

It was four o'clock in the afternoon. Chris Barclay 
had been working with tremendous energy all day. It 
was yet early when he had returned from the camp, 
and he at once begun a job of heavy forging which had 
been waiting in the shop for some time. He had 
slashed and pounded all day long, blowing the bellows 
fiercely, and making the sparks fly and the anvil ring 
beneath his blows as if he were doing to the death some 



''Out of the East:' 173 

enemy whose overthrow was to be the price of his own 
salvation. So deeply had he been absorbed in his work, 
that he had only taken time to run across the hollow 
and bolt the excellent dinner his wife had prepared, 
without waiting for a moment's conversation afterward. 
It was his way of thinking. He was trying to deter- 
mine what it was best to do, and' how it had best be 
done ; and when the doctor's gig came in sight, he had 
thought it all out and determined on the course he 
would pursue. The sweat was pouring down his face, 
and the long, black hairs upon his arms clung close to 
their damp surfaces, as he stood in the shop-door and 
hailed the passing physician. So intent was he upon 
his purpose, that he paid no attention to the doctor's 
protest or his inquiry. 

"Just wait till I get some of the smut oflf," he said, 
glancing at his bare arms, " and I'll go with you." 

" But really, Chris, I don't see — " 

" You haven't got anything more important on hand — 
you couldn't have," the blacksmith interrupted, gravely. 

" But what is it you want ?" asked the doctor, 
impatiently. 

" Do you see that, doctor ?" 

Barclay pointed to the square and compass burned 
into the door, upon his right, as he spoke. There was a 
sort of unconscious dignity, amounting almost to com- 
mand, in the gesture, and a peculiar significance in the 
tone in which he directed attention to the rude hier- 
oglyph. 

" I see it — of course," the doctor answered, with a 
look of inquiry upon his face. 

" Well, I want you should go with me, without asking 
any questions, and I want you to go now" said the 
smith, in the tone of one who had a right to demand 
consideration. " I'll take all the responsibility." 



174 A Son of Old Harry. 

" Oh, if )'ou put it on that ground — an order out of 
the East — why, I'll go, of course," responded the doc- 
tor, with a look of surprise and a half -shrug- of his fat 
shoulders. 

" Of course," repeated the smith, smiling signifi- 
cantly. " Well, you may just drive through the gate 
down there and go on up the lane. It's a good road 
and I'll overtake you in a jiffy — by the time you get to 
the bars, anyhow." 

The doctor was evidently inclined to make further 
inquiry, but the blacksmith pointed again, with an 
emphatic gesture, to the mystic symbol, and with 
another shrug and a submissive " All right !" the physi- 
cian turned his gig and drove down the hill. A moment 
after, Chris Barclay left the shop, his coat upon his arm 
and his gun upon his shoulder, and crossed the hollow 
to his house. 

" What on earth have you and the doctor got on hand 
to-day ?" asked his wife, good-naturedly, as he entered 
the yard. " This morning you had a good hour's chat 
out in the road, and now you've got him hid away down 
there in the hollow. What are you going to do with 
him, anyhow ? 'Pears to me there's something mighty 
mysterious going on to-day." 

" Just a bit of Masonic business," answered her hus- 
band, lifting his eyebrows meaningly. " The doctor's 
going to take another degree, you see, and I'm coaching 
him up a little." 

'* Where are you going to do it ? Is he coming here T' 
asked the wife, apprehensively glancing back from the 
doorway where she stood, to see that the room was in 
order. 

" We'll just step up into the edge of the clearing," 
was tfie reply ; " where there won't be no eavesdroppers, 
you know." 



''Out of the Eastr 175 

" Might just as well come here," urged the wife ; 
"there's the parlor that you can have all to yourselves, 
just as well as not. I shall be getting supper, and won't 
disturb you the least bit." 

If there was one thing Melinda Barclay was prouder of 
than anything else, it was the fact that her husband was 
the brightest Mason in all the region round. The nearest 
lodge was ten miles away, but he had been the Master 
for years, and many mysterious conferences had been 
held at the house as well as at the shop, during that 
time. " Masonic business " was as sacred a thing in her 
eyes as it could have been in her husband's, and the 
wife of the Worshipful Master would have protected 
the mysteries of the craft from profanation with as 
much fidelity as the most devoted Tiler that ever 
guarded with drawn sword the approach to the lodge. 
She never objected to the waste of time or to her own 
careful exclusion from its secrets. The fact that it 
brought honor and recognition to her husband was 
enough for her. The truth is, that, though she was 
sharp-tongued, and so capable and positive that people 
said of her that " the gray mare " was the " better horse" 
in the domestic span, she was inordinately vain of her 
stalwart husband's strength and popularity. While she 
twisted him easily about her finger as to domestic mat- 
ters, she knew, and it gave her pleasure to know, that 
there was a point beyond which she could not go. So 
she never questioned anything he did masonically, any 
more than if she had taken an obligation of secrecy 
and obedience herself. 

" Might just as well have it as tramp way down to 
the clearing and back in the hot sun," she added, per- 
suasively, seeing him hesitate. 

The truth was, he was hunting for an excuse, and her 
words gave him the clue. 



176 A Sojt of Old Harry. 

" It's too hot to sit in a close room, Melinda," he 
replied, " and of course, we'd have to keep the windows 
shut, though I know there wouldn't be no need with 
only you about ; but one can't be too careful about such 
things." 

" I s'pose not," regretfully. 

" Besides, the doctor has drove on down the lane and 
is waiting for me at the bars, I expect, right now." 

He started off with long, hasty strides in the direction 
of the bam, smiling and winking to himself as soon as 
his back was turned. 

" What are you going to do with your gun ?" she 
called after him, banteringly, from the doorstep. He 
still had it on his shoulder, having forgotten to leave it 
at the house as he had intended. 

" Keep off CO wins and eavesdroppers," was the laugh- 
ing reply. 

" How long 'fore you'll be back ?" 

" 'Bout an hour or an hour and a half, I should say ; 
the doctor's in a great hurry." 

"Fudge I That's always his way ; well, I'll split the 
difference and have supper ready in an hour and a 
quarter. Tell him if he don't stop and take supper 
with us, I'll take the broomstick to him till he won't be 
able to ride the goat for a month," 

" All right," the husband called back, jocularly, as he 
hastened down the path to the lane. 

Once a day for a week afterward the doctor's gig 
turned in at Barclay's lane, usually at night, so that 
even the good wife was unaware of the fact ; and for a 
week, also, Chris Barclay was away from home the bet- 
ter part of every night and very frequently during the 
day, until even his wife's reverence for " Masonic busi- 
ness " began to grow weak. 

" Well, I declare, Chris, 1 should think you were mak- 



" Out of the East:' I'jj 

ing a wholesale job of it this time, anyhow," she said, 
protestingly, one night, as he took his hat preparatory 
to his usual outing. 

" There's a lot of fellows going out to Calif orny, 'cross 
the plains, you know," he answered, deprecatingly, "in 
a week or two, and they want to be finished off before 
they go. Might be worth a good deal to 'em out there, 
you see." 

" I s'pose it might," said the good woman resignedly. 

The blacksmith's eyes twinkled, but he showed no 
signs of regret for the deception he was practicing on 
his trustful spouse. 

As the reader will have surmised, the doctor's mys- 
terious visits were made to the training-camp, where 
Horace Goodwin was slowly recovering from his hurt. 
In strict compliance with the blacksmith's injunction, he 
had asked no questions except such as pertained to the 
injury itself. He did this the more willingly because he 
felt satisfied that his own knowledge of the facts, if not 
more correct, was at least more definite than that of his 
friend, and he anticipated great pleasure in revealing 
the truth some time to a choice circle of cronies, to the 
confusion of the blacksmith, whose cumbrous shrewdness 
had, he thought, been so unnecessary. Day by day, as 
he pursued his accustomed round along the country 
roads. Doctor Kelsey chuckled to himself as he thought 
how, during some call from labor to refreshment, he 
would make the lodge-room echo with laughter at the 
Worshipful Master's expense, by relating to the appre- 
ciative craftsmen the story of this adventure. 

During this interval, having seen nothing of Sam, 
the doctor did not suspect his presence, and naturally 
arrived at the conclusion that Chris had brought Good- 
win to this place after he was wounded, simply from 
apprehension for his friend's safety, or else that Good- 



A Son of Old Hai'jy 



win had fled here under the idea that he was pursued, 
and that Barclay had found him afterward. This 
impression had been strengthened by Barclay's state- 
ment that Horace had been delirious ever since he first 
saw him after his injury. The ball, entering the mus- 
cles of the back below the shoulder-blade, had passed 
around under the arm and torn its way out through the 
pectoral muscles. The wound was a serious one, there- 
fore, not from primary but from secondary effects. 
Thanks to the vigor and health of the patient, the 
unpleasant symptoms had yielded readily to treatment, 
and as it was probable that Horace would soon be 
removed to other quarters, the doctor took occasion at 
the first visit he made unaccompanied by Barclay, to 
give his patient a statement of what he himself had 
learned in regard to his injury. He was seated upon a 
sap-bucket which he found bottom upward beside the 
couch of hay. His patient seemed rather more excited 
and feverish than he had expected to find him. This 
was but natural, since the doctor's unexpected arrival 
had allowed Sam only a moment to conceal himself. 
Half to soothe his patient's agitation and half to relieve 
his own sense of duty, the physician told him what the 
reader already knows of Dan Marvin's connection with 
the events of the night on which Goodwin had received 
his hurt. 



CHAPTER V. 

CHRIS BUYS HIS WIFE A PRESENT. 

" That's the whole story/' said the doctor in conclu- 
sion. " I haven't lisped a single Word of it to a single 
soul. You and I and his mother are the only ones that 
know anything about it." 

" I am afraid Kincaid had a hand in the matter," said 
the other, half to himself. 

" I don't know about that," responded the doctor, 
cautiously. " I thought I ought to tell you about Dan ; 
he's been punished pretty thoroughly." 

" His mother's a good woman," said Horace, medita- 
tively. 

" She thinks" you led Dan into bad ways." 

" He didn't need any leading." 

" His father wasn't of much account." 

" Not a bad man ; he taught me to play the violin. 
Dan isn't a bit like him." 

" Queer, isn't it," continued the doctor, musingly, 
" how good lives generate bad ones, and bad lives give 
forth good ones ? I suppose somewhere along the line 
of his descent are to be found the qualities that go to 
make up that bull-necked, sullen, revengeful cub. He 
was probably lying hid somewhere in his parents' 
natures, but nobody would imagine such a thing. You 



i8o A Sou of Old Harry. 

can't guess the qualities of a man's offspring as you 
do that of a horse." 

" Perhaps because you don't know his pedigree as far 
back, nor understand their quaHties as well as you do 
the horse's." 

" There may be something in that, but it is not enough 
to account for all that we see. Morally and physically 
man is an anomaly among animals. The children of 
the deaf hear, of the blind are clear-sighted ; the hunch- 
back has straight children ; Apollo has crooked off- 
spring ; but oftenest of all, the good have bad and the 
bad good children. I think it must be the surroundings 
— what a child sees and hears and thinks — that give 
prominence to inherited qualities and determine the 
character of every life. That's my hobby, you know ; 
inheritance plus environment makes the man." 

" Very probably you're right," said Horace, thinking 
of the red spur on his heel. 

" You and Seth, now," continued the doctor ; " just 
as unlike as two men could be. I s'pose responsibility 
— having to take a man's part when he was young — 
sobered him ; and you never had anything t o settle 
you." 

" Very likely." 

" He married, too. That's what you ought to have 
done. Queer, a man so fond of society should not have 
even a sweetheart. I think I shall prescribe a wife for 
you, as soon as you get over this." 

The doctor spoke banteringly. 

" No use," answered the other, smiling, and trying to 
turn on his rude bed. " How's Susan getting along, 
doctor ?" he asked, after a moment's silence. 

" First-rate. It seems a queer thing to say, but I 
believe the trouble that's come since her husband's 
death has been a good thing for her — taken her mind 



Chris Buys His Wife a PresenL i8i 

off her affliction, you know. Such things dull the edge 
of grief — especially with women." 

" And Hubert ?" 

" O, he's all right. I should hardly go to see him any 
more if it wasn't to let them know about you. They'll 
be mighty glad to see you around once more, I can tell 
you that." 

Horace Goodwin laid with his eyes closed and made 
no reply. He could hear the squirrels hopping about 
in the dry leaves, and the bees droning in the verdant 
stillness of the summer noon-tide about the camp. 
Horace Goodwin was dimly conscious of these drowsy 
delights, but it was the thought of his brother's wife 
which brought the look of content the physician noted 
on his face. 

" The boy got out on the steps yesterday to pet the 
colt," continued the doctor. 

" The colt ? Who brought him out ?" 

" It was that girl of Kincaid's, The hired man daren't 
go into the stable ; but she said the colt wouldn't hurt 
her ; and sure enough he didn't, She led him down to 
the house, and it was curious to see the creature rub 
and fuss about that boy. But he went back all right 
when she started — swinging his head from side to side 
in that queer, poky way of his, as if he never thought 
of mischief." 

" I'm glad she came to see Hubert." 

" O, she's there about all the time, now he's getting 
better. I never saw two young things so wrapt up in 
each other. I believe it would about kill them to be 
separated. He talked about her all the time he wah 
delirious, and she wouldn't go to school, but just staid 
at home to watch for me and ask how he was, till he got 
well enough so that she could visit him." 

" Deely certainly is a nice girl." 



1 82 A Son of Old Harry. 

" There's another freak, How'd she come to be what 
she is ?" 

" Give it up, I s'pose, as you say, it's somewhere in 
the blood, just as that colt's temper is ; but how it 
comes to crop out in just that form I don't know," 

" Neither do I ; but she's a jewel, no mistake. I must 
be going now. What do you think about Dan ?" 

" I s'pose if Kincaid was mixed up in the matter, it 
would all come out if there was a trial ?" 

" Probably." 

" That would just about kill Deely." 

" It would be pretty bad for her." 

" How's Dan getting on ?" 

" He's able to sit up." 

" If he'll tell who was with him — " 

" He won't do that," interrupted the doctor. 

" Well, I'm glad he's man enough not to ; that's some 
credit to him, anyhow." 

" It might lead right up to Kincaid if he did," sug- 
gestively. 

" You're right there," responded Horace, with a 
troubled look. 

" King Marsh has been mighty subdued and anxious 
since Chris began to talk about getting out a warrant." 

" A warrant — what for ?" 

" Chris pretends to think you're dead, and that he's 
got a clue to them that killed you. He's quite a 
changed man lately — Chris, I mean. His fire's out most 
of the time, his shop shut up, and he sits around the 
corners and talks and hints from morning till night 
almost. He'll lose all his custom if he goes on this way 
much longer. I shouldn't be surprised any day to hear 
there was a warrant out against Dan. Hank Welby, 
the constable, you know, spoke to me about it to-day. 



Chris Buys His Wife a Present. 183 

He don't know much, but he's an awfully determined 
man." 

" Are they hunting after Sam yet ?" asked Horace, 
with an effort to appear unconcerned. 

"Mosely's at Kincaid's." 

" Come to close the trade for the colt ?" 

" I s'pose so. He wanted to talk with Susan about 
the matter, but she said she wouldn't do anything till 
you come back. He asked her if she thought you were 
alive, and she said she did ; and she guessed the time 
would come when some folks would wish you were dead, 
more'n they did now. He said he'd wait a couple of 
weeks ; and she agreed, if you weren't back by that 
time, she'd take out letters and 'tend to the matter herself- 
There's a great deal of talk about the matter, 'specially 
since Chris put a padlock on the stable-door and made 
the hired man sleep in the barn with a gun. It seems 
to worry Kincaid a good deal. 

" Besides that, he and Mosely had a falling out about 
the nigger. It seems Kincaid gave a bond with security 
to take him back to Kentucky, but when Mosely draws 
it on him, and demands his nigger, or the money, Kin- 
caid goes to a lawyer, and, after taking advice, tells 
Mosely his bond ain't good for anything." 

" Ain't good ?" 

" That's what he said ; and when Mosely come back 
from Kentucky, where he took advice, too, he says the 
same thing. You see he consented to let the nigger go 
into a free State, and that, it seems, makes him free, if 
he chooses to take advantage of it, which it appears he 
did, and that, they say, invalidates the bond, it being a 
contract that a man shouldn't do what he'd a clear 
right to do under the law of the State. So Mosely said 
that, if he couldn't get it out of Kincaid by law, he'd 
have to get it some other way. He didn't say how, but 



184 A Son of Old Harry, 

just lay around and smoked in that lazy Southern 
fashion, winking his great big eyes as contentedly as a 
toad that has swallowed a lightning-bug, till Kincaid 
got real nervous. So yesterday they settled." 

" King paid him off, I s'pose ?" 

" Not exactly. I believe the "bond was fifteen htin- 
dred dollars, which Mosely says is just about a fair 
price for the nigger. I'm sure I don't know. He don't 
look as if he'd weigh more'n a hundred, and fifteen dol- 
lars a pound seems a pretty good price for any sort of 
meat, as Hank Welby says ; but Mosely claims the 
boy'd bring it any day, under the hammer." 

" A good jockey is worth 'most any money." 

" So I s'pose ; but there was the chance of getting 
him back, and the bond not good — at any rate they set- 
tled — nobody knows just how. Mosely takes back the 
Gray Eagle, for one thing, and most people believe that 
Kincaid loses what he'd paid on him and gets back his 
notes for the balance." 

"That wouldn't be a bad trade — for Mosely." 

" Well, Kincaid says he don't ever want to see a 
crack horse again ; and some say he had to promise his 
wife never to own another or the old woman was going 
to desert. He'd be bad off without her, shrewd as he is." 

" So Mosely has got pay for his nigger and still owns 
him ?" 

" Oh, no ; he sold him after that." 

" Sold him ? In a free State, too ! I'd like to know 
who bought him." 

" You'd never guess." 

" Anybody round here ?" 

The doctor nodded. 

Horace shook his head, after a moment's thought. 

" Give it up, do you ? Thought you would. Well, it 
was nobody but Chris Barclay." 



Chris Buys His Wife a Present. 185 

" Chris Barclay !" exclaimed Horace, attempting to 
rise in his excitement, and sinking back with a groan. 

" Exactly. Chris was sitting on the counter when 
Mosely and Kincaid came out of the back room and 
said they'd settled. Kincaid showed the bond around, 
and after they'd all seen it, tore it up. Then some 
questions was asked about who owned the nigger, and 
Mosely said it still belonged to him. He s'posed the 
little cuss was in Canada by this time, but he held the 
title if he didn't ever see a hide or hair of him again. 
Then Chris asked, in his dry way, if he didn't want to 
sell him. 

" 'Do you want to buy ?' asked Mosely, with one of 
his ten-minute winks. 

" Chris said his old woman had always claimed she'd 
like to own a nigger, and if he could get one cheap, he 
thought he might like to buy. Of course, everybody 
laughed. 

" * Take him running ?' asked Mosely. 

" * Of course,' said Chris. * S'pose I'd have to.' 

" ' Won't ask to have him delivered ?' 

" ' No.' 

" ' You take all risk for failure of title made in this 
State ?' 

" ' I want a good title, whether I get the nigger or 
not,' says Chris. 

" ' I can't give that,' Mosely said. * All I can give is a 
quit-claim.' 

" ' Well, what'll you take for that .?' 

" They bantered a while, and the upshot of it was 
that Chris gave him a hundred dollars, and took a deed 
to the nigger and a contract that Mosely should make 
out another when he got back to Kentucky." 

" I'm glad of that," said Horace, with a sigh of 
relief. 



1 86 A So7i of Old Harry. 

" But wasn't it a queer thing for Chris to do ?" 

" It would seem so," answered Horace, absently. 
" How long before I can be taken home, doctor ?" he 
asked, after a moment's silence. 

" Oh, in the course of two or three days, I should 
think." 

** Well, doctor — if Dan Marvin should take it into his 
head that — that he'd better go out west — to California 
or somewhere — before I get around I — well, I don't 
know asthere'dbe any harm done." 

** I'm sure his mother would be glad ; she'd probably 
go with him." 

" I don't want to know anything about it," said the 
sick man with a gesture of aversion. " I s'pose I'll have 
to tell all about the matter as soon as it's known I'm 
above ground, and the less I know about his getting 
away, the better." * 

" Naturally ; and for my part I'd like to know a little 
about how you got hurt, before I'd be willing to give 
any such hint. How did it happen, anyhow? How 
did'you come to be down the road at that time of night ? 
How did you get there and how did you get here ?" 

" You are sure Mosely made out a bill of sale for Sam 
to Barclay ?" 

" O, perfectly sure ; saw it myself ; in fact, am one of 
the witnesses. Squire Kendall drew it up, and Mosely 
handed over the bill of sale he got of the man he bought 
the boy of when he was a baby. It's all square and 
straight. Barclay owns the nigger out and out — so far 
as Mosely's deed can give title in this State, that is." 

" Sam !" 

There was a rustling under the hay in the great store- 
trough, and the little jockey rose up before the aston- 
ished gaze of Doctor Kelsey. 

" It's all right, Sam," said Horace. " You heard what 



Chris Buys His Wife a Present. 187 

the doctor said. You are free now, though Barclay has 
got a bill of sale for you. Nobody can interfere with 
you, now, and Chris is the last man that would ever 
care to." 

If any one had expected any clamorous demonstration 
from the man thus suddenly relieved from apprehen- 
sion of a return to bondage, he would have been disap- 
pointed. It is a singular fact that liberty was so stu- 
pendous and overwhelming a fact to the African slave, 
that when it came, it seemed invariably to paralyze the 
power of immediate expression. Words were inade- 
quate to voice the rapture of a newly freed bondman. 
What Sam Mosely did was neither to shout nor laugh ; 
but after gazing a moment at the doctor with a stare 
almost as incredulous as his own, his face grew pale, his 
limbs trembled, and, with a half-inarticulate moan, he 
sank down sobbing hysterically, upon his knees in the 
trough where he had been hidden. 

" Well, I declare !" exclaimed the doctor, springing to 
his feet, " where did^w/ come from ?" 

** Now, you see, doctor," continued Horace, after he 
had enjoyed for a moment his friend's astonishment, 
" the reason so much caution was necessary in commun- 
icating with you. So far as I am concerned, the mat- 
ter is very simple. I was watching with Hubert that 
night — had been doing so for several nights before, you 
know — and must have fallen asleep in my chair. After 
a time I heard the horses whinnying — I had heard them 
for some time, I suppose, but it had not fully roused me 
from the heavy sleep I was in. When I did finally 
wake I started up, fully aware that something was wrong. 
The colt in the barn was trumpeting like mad, and just 
as I got to the door, I heard the Queen answer from 
the hollow down near the road. I knew at once that 
somebody had stolen her, but could not imagine why 



1 88 A Sou of Old Harry. 

they had not taken the colt also. Then I thought it 
was a trick of Kincaid's ; and calling Susan to stay with 
the boy, I started out in my slippers with only a round- 
about on, to see what could be done. As I went out of 
the door, I caught up the heavy rawhide whip the boy 
had carried in the race. It was the only weapon I could 
lay hands on just then." 

" Not a bad one, either," interposed the doctor. 

" No ; it served well enough. I had a notion that 
whoever had got the mare would not go very fast at 
first, as it might attract attention to go running by the 
three or four neighbors' houses just south of ours, and 
thought if I could get near her and whistle, she would 
make the one that rode her trouble enough, so that I 
could get a chance to use the whip before he could sub- 
due her. You know I am a pretty good runner, 
and the slippers were light and made no noise. When 
I got to the brow of the hill just below Matthews's, I 
could see them about half way down the slope. The 
moon had gone down, but it was bright starlight. To 
my surprise there were two of them, and they were 
walking their horses quite slowly. I jumped over into 
the orchard and ran down the hill until I was nearly 
opposite them. The mare called just then — I suppose 
she winded me — and I heard one of them give her a 
lick. She never would stand a blow, and I knew this 
would be a good time to interfere. Climbing the fence 
into the road, I put my fingers in my mouth and 
whistled — not once, but a dozen times. You know how 
far that whistle can be heard ?" 

" I've heard it a mile or more, over and often." 

"Well, the mare heard it, then, and there was evi- 
dently a squabble with her. The man who rode her 
fell off — at least I heard something fall — and clutching 
my whip I ran towards them. When I got near, I saw 



Chris Buys His Wife a Present. 189 

. e^ 

there was a man on her and another hanging on to the 
bridle. I hadn't more than four or five rods to run, and 
in a minute I was among them hitting right and left, 
first one man and then the other, and finally laying the 
whip over the other horse. They've all got my mark 
on them yet, wherever they are. The horse reared 
when I struck him, which isn't any wonder, considering 
that there's nearly half a pound of shot braided into 
that cracker. This pulled his rider, who had hold of 
the mare's rein, out of the saddle. lie let go and she 
turned towards me. I cut the fellow on her over the 
head and face once or twice — perhaps a few more times 
— literally beating him off the saddle ; caught a grip ■ 
in the mare's mane as she started past me up the hill, 
and after running a few steps beside her swung into the 
saddle with a whoop. Just then a shot was fired, and I 
felt the ball strike me under the shoulder blade. The 
mare was going like the wind by that time, making just 
lickity-click for home. I began to grow faint in a min- 
ute and fell over on her neck, just having sense enough 
left to take hold round it. The next I knew I was lying 
here and Sam was washing my face. I suppose the 
mare was so frightened that she kept right on past the 
stable up the lane to the camp where we have been so 
long. That is all the story I've got to tell, doctor." 

"I see ! I see!" said the doctor musingly. "You 
mustn't talk any more now. I oughtn't to have let you 
say so much, but I wanted to know. Even a doctor 
has some curiosity." 

Horace smiled. The doctor's curiosity was a thing 
well understood by all who knew him. 

" Well, it was lucky for you she came here," continued 
the physician. " I could hardly have done better for 
you than the boy, and — well, other things might have 
been wors§," 



190 A So7i of Old Harjy. 

" Yes," answered Horace ; " and you see I couldn't 
betray him after that." 

" Of course not ; and Chris "knew all about it ? The 
rascal — he's sharper than I thought." 

" He's a mighty good man, doctor," said Horace sol- 
emnly. 

" Who ? Chris ? Well, I should say ! And not half as 
stupid as you might imagine, either," responded the 
doctor, heartily. 

The boy came out from his. hiding place, and, crouch- 
ing down beside the couch, took Horace's hand tenderly 
in his own. 

" You'll be well taken care of," said the doctor, sig- 
nificantly, glancing at the boy. " Couldn't I drive up 
the lane past Seth's after dark, when I come the next 
time ?" he asked as he rose to go. 

" Just as well as not. Tell Mosely I'll be out soon." 

" All right ; keep quiet. Good-bye." 

He nodded cheerfully to his patient, put on his wide- 
brimmed hat and started to walk through the woods to 
Barclay's lane, where he had left his horse. It was half 
a mile away — a long walk for a man of his build — and 
he was glad hje would not have to make it any more. 
He had been very circumspect, and congratulated him- 
self that he had saved the peace of the neighborhood by 
his sagacity. Years afterward, when he told of his 
adventures, he always laid stress on this fact. 

" No, you don't, doctor," was the unexpected greeting 
that worthy received as he stepped outside the door of 
the camp. It came from the lips of Melinda Barclay 
whose trim figure was advancing from the brook, with 
the massive form of the blacksmith coming leisurely 
behind her. She looked saucily at the doctor from the 
shadow of her stiff sun-bonnet as she spoke, and 
threatened him with an uplifted finger, 



Chris Buys His Wife a Presoit. 191 

" Just you stand where you are, sir, and tell me if you 
are not ashamed to deceive a poor trusting woman as 
you and Chris hare been doing for a week back. I 
thought my husband was overdoing the Masonic busi- 
ness, and mistrusting just what was in . the wind, I 
charged him with it. I never allow him to tell fibs to me 
about anything but Masonry, and had no idea he lied to 
me about that before ; so he had to own up, and I came 
right down here with him to see if it was true that you 
two heathen men, who talk so much about charity and 
the like, would leave a poor sick man to suffer and per- 
haps to die, without any woman to tend on him or look 
after him. Ain't you ashamed, now ?" 

" But he has been very comfortable," said Barclay. 
" You know he has Sam to wait on him." 

" Sam ! A little nigger that's fit only to wait on a sick 
horse. Comfortable ! Much you know about it. Wait 
until you're sick yourself, and then see how you'd like to 
have a nigger boy to wait on you." 

" Remember he's yours now," said the doctor mis- 
chievously. " I expect you'll keep him waiting on Chris 
all the time." 

" Waiting on Chris ? No, indeed. I've got better work 
for him than that." 

" What "are you going to have him do ?" 

" Watch the Masons, sir, and let their wives know how 
they're deceiving them. I guess that '11 keep him busy." 

" I'm afraid he'll run away again, if you set him at 
that." 

" I wouldn't blame him," was the reply. " He seems 
to be the. only man around here that's got right good 
sense. He kxiew he didn't know enough to take care of 
a sick man. Just let me see how things are, anyhow." 

She stepped inside the door and looked at Horace, with 
Sam, who had risen at her entrance, standing beside the 



192 A Son of Old Ha7'ry. 

couch and fanning him with a green maple-bough. The 
bed was an ingenious contrivance of the blacksmith's — 
a pile of hay over which was tightly drawn and staked 
a piece of canvas. Melinda recognized some of her own 
bed-clothing,, also, about the form of the sick man. 

" How do you do ? This ain't so bad, after all ;" 
glancing around as she spoke. " I was afraid they were 
just letting you lie on the ground, Mr. Goodwin, and 
suffer like a brute. I'm glad Chris had sense enough to 
steal some of my pillows and coverlets for you. Now I 
know he's a liar, I don't mind his being a thief, you see. 
I declare, I'm glad you're getting along so well. And 
this is Sam, I s'pose ? I'm 'fraid I'll never be able to get 
him away from you, Mr. Horace. He's taken such good 
care of you, I think he's earned the right to stay with 
you. How would you like that, Sam ?" 

" Suit me fust-rate, missus," said the boy with a grin, 
ducking his head and scraping his foot. 

" You'll let me have him now and then, to watch Chris 
and the doctor, won't you ?" 

*• As often as you wish," laughed Horace. 

" Well, that's settled then ; I'll give him to you. I 
can't keep him, you know, because my husband's an 
Abolitionist. I'm not ; I'd like to have a nigger to wait 
on me, but I can't afford a fuss in the family. So I'll 
let you have him. What do they give you to eat, Mr. 
Goodwin?" the bustling housewife continued. "Really, 
you look half-famished. What do you suppose Susan 
would say if she knew one of her family was being 
starved right here under her nose ? Where do you keep 
your things, anyhow ?" 

In her eagerness to explore the domestic arrange- 
ments of the camp, the good woman opened the door in 
the partition and found herself confronted with the 
inquiring head of the Queen. The consternation which 



The Clonds Roll By. 193 

was pictured on her face drew roars of laughter from 
the beholders, including the wounded man, whose mirth, 
though evidently painful, seemed irrepressible. 

"Well, I do declare ! In a stable !" was her ejacula- 
tion. 

" See here, madam," said the doctor, with half- 
assumed gravity, " don't you see you are agitating my 
patient ? I must positively forbid such excitement." 

"Well, Mr. Goodwin," answered the woman, who 
recognized the truth of the doctor's words, " I won't 
stay any longer now. You don't know how glad I am 
to see you doing so well. Chris shall bring you a 
supper, and, to-morrow, perhaps, I'll come and sit 
awhile with you. We'll soon have you out of this." 

The jolly trio — the doctor, the blacksmith and his 
sprightly wife — went away ; their laughing banter 
coming back, softened by the leafy wood, seemed to 
Horace Goodwin the sweetest sound he had ever heard, 
and almost before it had died away he sank into that 
restful slumber which follows so swift upon the least 
exertion, with the hopeful convalescent. 



CHAPTER VI. 



THE CLOUDS ROLL BY. 



It was as the doctor had predicted. The return of 
Horace Goodwin was more like a festive occasion than 
the reunion of an afflicted family. Not only his safety 
but the consciousness of relief from financial difficulty, 
gave an air of contentment which had long been 
unknown to the members of the household. When the 



194 ^ ^on of Old Harry. 

dead was spoken of, it was always with tender regret 
that he had not lived to share this unlooked-for pros- 
perity. The will of the deceased, naming his brother 
as executor, had to be admitted to probate before the 
colt could be legally disposed of. It provided that 
one-third of the purchase money, after paying off the 
mortgage on the farm, should go to Horace, not as a 
bequest, but as compensation for his skill in enhancing 
the animal's value. The will was executed several days 
before the race, but the testators seemed to have had 
no doubt as to its result. It was evident from the 
entire instrument that he fully understood his own 
physical condition, and did not expect to survive the 
excitement of that event. Only his strong will kept 
him alive until it was over, and even this proved insuffi- 
cient to sustain the enfeebled system, when the reaction 
came and he knew that his estate was released from the 
peril that had impended. 

When the trade was completed, the money paid, and 
the colt brought out to be delivered to his new owner, 
Hubert, now quite recovered, after a last caress of the 
animal which had so long been the pride of his heart, 
fled to his room under the roof of the unfinished house 
and flung himself upon his bed in a passion of tears. 
He mourned his father and his pet. Who shall blame 
him if the two were unconsciously joined in his thought ? 
He lay there a long time. His tears finally ceased to 
flow and his sobs died away. 

Lying on his back looking straight upward, he 
watched the wasps building their mud-nests along the 
rafters and dreamed the curious day-dreams of boy- 
hood — of " gay castles in the clouds that pass, forever 
flushing round a summer sky." Already he had buried 
his past and set his foot across the threshold of the 
future. What a crude and narrow future his imagina- 



The Clouds Roll By. 195 

tion painted ! There were so few people in it ! Him- 
self and Deely were, of course, its central figures. He 
was too much a man to think of himself as acting any- 
thmg but a leading part in his own life-drama, and too 
much of a boy to be ashamed of his thought. His 
moiner and his uncle came next ; then, not without 
some compunctions, Deely's father and mother, con- 
siderably retired from view, and then — the world ! 
What a queer, misty, sun-tinted world it was ! How 
easily he settled the somewhat vague relations of his 
little circle to it and to himself ! Himself and Deely, 
rather — for what was his was to be hers, of thought, 
act and enjoyment, " forever and ever, Amen !" He 
repeated the words softly and solemnly, and wondered 
how long " forever" might be, and what the " Amen" 
meant. 

" Jack I" a soft voice called, timidly, from the narrow 
stairway. 

It hardly broke upon his day-dream, for it was Deely's. 

" Yes," he answered, absently, still watching the 
mud-daubers at work beside the rafter. 

" May I come up ?" 

" Oh, is it you, Deely ?" rousing himself and sitting up 
on the bed. " Why, yes — of course." 

There was a rush up the uncarpeted stair, and the 
girl leaped upon the bed and flung her arms about his 
neck. 

" Oh, Jack !" 

This was all she said — her tone told the rest. The 
tears came again to the boy's eyes, but he brushed them 
aside and said, stoutly : 

" 'Tain't no use to feel bad, Deely ; it had to be — and 
I guess I'm glad of it." 

' * Of course ; he brought a lot of money, didn't he >. 
Pa says you'll soon be the richest folks around here, if 



196 A Soil of Old Harry. . 

your mother lets Uncle Hod manage for her, and then 
you can buy him back some day." 

" I don't want to buy him back." 

" Well, you can get another just as good," continued 
the little comforter. 

"There ain't any just as good, Deely. Mr. Mosely 
says he's the best horse in the country, and he wouldn't 
take five thousand dollars for his bargain to-day ; but 
if he was twice as good, I don't want him, nor I don't 
ever want to see him again." 

" Why, Jack !" 

" I don't, Deely ! I'm never going to own a horse as 
long as I live, no matter how rich I may be." 

*' Why — Jack Goodwin !" exclaimed the girl, drawing 
back, and looking up at him with astonishment. 

"I won't !" repeated the lad, stubbornly. 

" Why not ?" 

" 'Cause I'm going to be a minister." 

" But you'll be rich ; pa says you will." 

" I don't care if I am." 

" Rich folks are never ministers," said the girl, in a 
positive, satisfied tone. 

" I'm going to be one, anyway." 

" Are you going to preach and holler like other minis- 
ters ?" 

" I — I — s'pose so." 

" It must be awful hard work." 

The girl sighed, as if the thought of the exertion 
oppressed her. 

" I 'spect it is," replied the boy, absently. 

" But you'll need a horse to get to your preaching- 
places ?" 

" I shall walk." 

The girl burst into a laugh that echoed musically 
through the empty room. The mother, busy with her 



The Clouds Roll By. 197 

work below, heard it, and rejoiced that the sorrowing 
lad could so soon forget his grief. 

" I don't see anything funny in that," said the boy 
half -resentfully. " You needn't go with me." 

"I should think not," she rejoined, laughing still 
more heartily. " The idea of a minister walking to 
church and leaving his wife at home !" 

" Perhaps I sha'n't have any wife," said the boy, 
sulkily. 

" Oh, yes, you will," answered the girl, sobered at 
once by his anger. " You know I'm going to be your 
wife. Remember, we promised ' forever and ever, 
Amen !' I couldn't marry anybody else, after that ; it 
would be wicked." 

The girl spoke in tones of grave reproach. 

" I s'pose it would," said the boy, apologetically. 

" What makes you think you will be a minister. Jack .?" 
she asked, after a moment of oppressive silence. 

" Father said he wanted I should be if — if I got a 
call." 

" What's that ?" 

" I don't know ; something preachers have. I've 
heard them talk about it. Some say father had one 
once — a long time ago — and didn't listen to it, and that 
was the reason he had so much trouble." 

" What did he have so much trouble about } Was it 
because he was sick ?" 

'■'■ Oh, no ; that's what made him sick ; 'cause he was in 
debt and was afraid he'd lose the farm, I s'pose." 

" Couldn't he get another, if he did ?"' 

" I don't know ; never thought of that. I s'pose he'd 
set his heart on this one." 

" If I had my way, there wouldn't be any trouble in 
the world — not the least little bit," said the child- 
•vyoman, with q^uiet certainty. 



198 A Son of Old Harry. 

" Oh, there has to be, Deely," said the boy, with 
reproachful earnestness. His religious education had 
made trouble so essential a part of the Divine dis- 
pensation, that to question its necessity seemed to 
him nothing less than sacrilege. 

" Do you think we'll have any trouble. Jack — you 
and I ?" solemnly. 

" Why, of course." 

** What do you suppose it'll be about ?" 

"I don't know." 

"It won't be about money, will it? We'll both be 
rich." 

The child spoke with gay assurance. 

" It'll be something, if there has to be a new kind of 
trouble made just for us. Everybody has trouble, Deely 
— everybody — more or less." 

" I s'pect they do," said the little lady, smoothing out 
her frock, as she sat upon the bed a la Turk, and folding 
her hands demurely in her lap. The boy, his legs dan- 
gling over the side of the bed leaned over upon his right 
hand and watched her contentedly. 

" Do you suppose you'll have a * call,' Jack ?" she 
asked, at length, looking up at him with a sympathetic 
gaze. 

" How can I tell ? They don't ever get them till they 
are man-grown. Father said he wanted I should be 
ready to answer if one came." 

" What will you have to do to get ready ?" 

** Oh, be very good — you know — and go to college — 
and — and — such. ' ' 

" That's all right," cheerfully. " And if you don't 
get a ' call ?' " 

" Then I'll have to do something else, I s'pose." 

" Of course ; and then you can have all the horses 



The Clouds Roll By. 199 

you want, I don't believe you'll get any * call,' " she 
added, brightly. 

" Perhaps not ; but — but — I sha'n't ever own a horse 
if I don't." 

The boy's lip quivered and his eyes filled with tears, 
as the memory of the happy days at the training-camp 
came to his mind, but he turned away his head and 
looked steadfastly out of the window to hide his weak- 
ness from his companion. 

" Why not. Jack ?" 

The girl laid her hand caressingly upon his shoulder 
and leaned forward to look into his face. 

" 'Cause — I can't," came brokenly from the lad's 
determined lips. 

" Won't you tell your little Deely, Jack ?" 

Unable to resist this appeal, the boy drew up his left 
foot, and removing the shoe and stocking, pointed to the 
red mark upon the heel. Either because the foot had 
lost its tan during his illness, or because the exciting 
events of the past few weeks had tended to promote 
its development, the mark, which had been barely 
traceable before, now showed red and angry. 

"Why, how funny!" said the girl, scrutinizing it 
curiously, but afraid to touch it. 

*' That was only a little red mark that you could hardly 
see, when we were down in the camp," said the boy, 
with quivering lips. " Now look what it's like." 

He turned up the foot to show that the red line crossed 
the sole, and then turned it back that she might see the 
branches almost meeting on the instep. 

" That's where it's tied, I s'pose," said the boy explan- 
atorily. " Uncle Horace says they used to tie 'em 
instead of buckling them." 

" But what is it ?" asked the girl, in a hushed whisper. 

" It's a sign, Deely." 



200 A Son of Old Harry. 

" A sign ? Sign of what ?" 

" If those two marks ever come together there," point- 
ing to the instep and speaking very solemnly, " it's a 
sign the devil's got me hard and fast, and there's never 
any chance for me to get away. Until it gets clear 
round, though, he ain't ever sure of me ; so I'll have all 
manner of good luck till that comes, just to keep me 
from breaking away and disappointing him, you see." 

" Who told you about it, Jack ?" 

*' Uncle Horace ; he's got one, too ; and it's quite a 
considerable bigger'n mine — oh, ever so big round under 
the foot here — but it hasn't got quite together on top ; 
is just about half as far apart as mine. That's the rea- 
son he's so lucky — won the race, didn't get killed, and — 
oh, everything ! That's the reason everybody likes 
him, too, and he can make money without trying when- 
ever he's a mind to. The devil's just baiting him on, 
you see. But Uncle Horace says he'll give him the 
slip yet, and I hope he will." • 

" I'm sure he will," said the girl, cheerfully. 

" It's a sign that runs in the Goodwin family ; some 
have it and some don't. Them that does, have good 
luck, and are apt to have a bad end ; them that don't, 
have bad luck but die happy. Father didn't have any ; 
so he had trouble. Uncle Horace says I wouldn't ever 
have discovered Abdallah if it hadn't been for that 
mark. Father could see his points after we'd showed 
'em to him, but he never would have found them out 
himself." 

" I believe I'd rather have the mark," said the girl 
decisively. The spirit of King Marsh showed in her 
tones. 

" But the dying, Deely," said the boy, solemnly. 

" Ain't there any way to have the luck and die happy, 
too ?" 



The Clouds Roll By. 201 

*' None — only just being a minister — a child of Theo- 
philus." 

" What's that ?" asked the girl, in wide-eyed wonder. 

Then he told his little companion the story of Sir 
Harry and Theophilus Goodwin. When he had con- 
cluded, she looked timorously around the silent, unfin- 
ished chamber and said in a tremulous whisper : 

" O, dear !" 

" Hubert ! Deely ! Come, children — supper's ready." 

His mother's voice sounded very cheerful. The boy 
started at once to put on his shoe and lace it up. 

** What makes everybody call you Hubert, now ?" 
asked the girl, as she watched him weave the leather 
strings in and out through the uncased holes in the 
shoe. 

" I don't know ; unless 'cause father did," 

" Don't you think it's because you're going to be a 
minister ?" 

" May be." 

" You'll let me call you Jack, won't you ?" 

" Of course." 

" Always ?" 

" To be sure !" straightening up and looking at her 
wonderingly. " I wouldn't have you call me anything 
else for the world ! 'Twouldn't seem natural." 

She flung her arms about his neck, kissed him and 
pressed her cheek against his with unconscious fervor. 
The boy received her caress a little shamefacedly, but 
did not return it. 

" Let me tie up my shoe," he said, after a moment. 

Deely released her clasp of his neck and leaned her 
head upon his shoulder while he finished. Then they 
slid off the bed, ran a race to the stairway, went clat- 
tering down and burst open the door to find Uncle 
Horace propped up in the easy-chair, occupying his 



202 A Son of Old Harry. 

brother's accustomed place at the table, while Mrs. 
Goodwin sat opposite, smiling and cheerful. The girl 
ran to kiss the invalid, whose tirst appearance this was 
at the table, while the boy sat down in his wonted seat 
with a strange, indefinable apprehension tugging at his 
heart. Was his Uncle Horace going to take his father's 
place in everything? Another surprise awaited him. 
Mrs. Goodwin's face flushed as she cast a meaning look 
at her brother-in-law and bowed her head over her plate. 
Horace leaned forward and in stammering tones asked 
a blessing. In those days it was customary only for those 
who were termed " professors " to say grace before par- 
taking of food, and the children felt that a very solemn 
and momentous change had taken place, which they 
could but half understand. The truth was that a new 
day had come. One king was dead and another had 
come to reign in his place. Would his mle be just and 
wise and tender ? This was the unformulated question 
the young hearts were unconsciously striving to solve as 
they ate the first meal under the new dispensation. 



CHAPTER VH. 



HALCYON DAYS. 



The days passed swiftly, and the sun shone brightly 
on the Goodwin household. Some were surprised, but 
everybody seemed gratified at the change in Uncle 
Horace. One of his first acts after complete recovery 
was to apply for admission to the church. 

" I promised Seth when hejwas dying, and before, too 
that I'd join the church when he was gone and take care 



Halcyon Days. 203 

of those he left behind,and I'm ready to do my part," 
was the only satisfaction he gave the church officials 
when they asked his motive for making such applica- 
tion. 

He explained his choice of denomination, which had 
awakened some surprise, in a like unique and matter- 
of-fact way : 

*' You see, Seth didn't get along very well with the 
Methodists, and as I am not half so good as he was, and 
haven't any of his gift, I thought I'd better try the 
Congregationalists, and see if I could not make a better 
go with them. I s'pose it's all the same, anyhow ; all 
bound for the same place, and so far as I can see, it 
don't make much difference which road one takes. 
Susan was a Congregationalist before she married Seth, 
and I've a notion she feels a little more at home among 
them yet. As I'll have to stay and look after things for 
her till the boy grows up, I thought I might as well join 
where she'd like best to go. It'll be better for the boy, 
too. As for me, I never cared enough about either to 
have any preference ; I just want to do what seems the 
best thing for them." 

It was a terribly prosaic view to take of a spiritual 
matter. He did not seem to know anything about the 
distinctive tenets of the church he had selected, or 
rather, did not care to consider them. The cardinal 
principles embraced in the declaration of faith pre- 
sented to him he accepted withoiit hesitation and with 
evident sincerity. As to a change of heart, he candidly 
avowed that he was not conscious of having experienced 
any. He had promised his brother to join the church, 
set a good example to the boy, aud see that he had a 
religious training and a thorough education. This 
promise he desired to fulfill, and wished the aid of the 



204 A Son of Old Harry. 

church in doing so. He expected the help of God as a 
matter of course, because it was a good act. 

This matter made a deal of talk in the neighborhood. 
Everybody said it was just like Horace Goodwin, who 
never did anything as anybody else did. Some com- 
plained of his apparent irreverence and lack of spiritu- 
ality, but they all admitted that he meant what he said, 
and nearly every one declared that he had done exactly 
right. Fireside theologians argued stoutly pro and con, 
about a change of heart and the evidences of a saving 
faith. Being asked to pray, at a meeting of the pastor 
and deacons called to consider his case, he complied in 
such a simple, stammering, unconventional way, that 
even those who smiled could not help weeping, yet 
could not tell why they wept. After some delay his 
request was granted. He soon became active in the 
affairs of the church, not in spiritual things, of which he 
professed to no knowledge, but in advancing its tem- 
poral interests, and bringing into it many of his old 
associates. 

After a few months, Mrs. Goodwin joined the same 
church by letter from the Methodist congregation with 
which she had united in her husband's lifetime. Little 
more than a year afterward Hubert also united with it. 
It was chiefly through his uncle's persuasion that he 
did so. " You know it was your father's wish," he said, 
and the boy complied. Deely Kincaid joined at the 
same time. Was it love of God or love of Jack, that 
made her refuse to allow him to be separated from her 
by any new relation ? Many remarked that it seemed 
like a marriage of these two who were yet children, but 
seemed to be one in all their aspirations. There was a 
rapt look upon the girl's face as they rose from their 
knees with the water of baptism still sparkling upon 
her palCp gold tresses, as she glanced at her companion 



Halcyon Days. 205 

before turning to listen to the charg-e of the pastor. The 
boy hardly heard the words of the minister, so absorbed 
was he with the thoughts inspired by that look — a look 
he never forgot, and which came back to his memory 
in after years with a sting like that of a scorpion which 
he could neither slay nor escape. " Yours — for time 
and eternity, yours !" — was the language of her tear- 
dimmed eyes. How often was he to see them, shining 
through the darkness when he could answer but with 
groans their unceasing appeal. O, child-bride and 
child-groom, who would have dreamed that only the 
grave could hide forever the shame of that glance of 
purity and love flashing from soul to soul, as you stood 
at God's altar ! Terrible was the sacrifice you laid upon 
the shrine of love that day, oh, spotless soul, whom 
earth had no power to stain, and whom the Merciful 
Father at length found but one way to save from sin 
and secure from shame ! 

Horace Goodwin at once assumed charge of the family 
interests, and soon established a new era of prosperity. 
He came to the helm at a fortunate time. Balmy breezes 
were blowing and the foundations of many fortunes were 
laid in the next few years. The gold of California was 
just finding its way eastward, and enlivening business 
and production with the assurance of a stable medium. 
The Crimean War was on the horizon, and our agricul- 
tural products took a rebound from the depression of 
the previous decade, which put money in the pockets of 
all those who were wisely watchful of events. Among 
these was Horace Goodwin. The tide of public favor 
set strongly with him, too. People spoke of him with 
lavish praise, now that he had quit sowing his wild oats 
and settled down. He found no lack of means or oppor- 
tunity to engage in any business he desired. Men 



2o6 A Son of Old Harfy. 

believed him lucky and were anxious to join their for- 
tunes with his. 

The farm which his brother's industry and thrift had 
made to yield but a scanty proht, soon became a source 
of positive wealth. Horace violated all the maxims of 
the agricultural community in which he lived ; did many 
things they thought needed not to be done, and left un- 
done others that were esteemed of prime importance. 
Especially did men predict failure because he would 
neither hold the plow nor drive. But he caught at new 
ideas, purchased new and improved breeds of stock, 
bought and sold with an appreciation of values that 
seemed instinctive, and paid wages that astounded his 
neighbors. If he did not labor himself, his eye saw all 
that was done or left undone, and neglect was sure to be 
followed by dismissal. 

When an opportunity offered to enlarge the farm, he 
improved it. " Seth always wanted that piece to 
straighten his south line," he remarked. People smiled 
when he planted a double row of maples and elms along 
the State road from end to end of his possessions. " Seth 
always said he meant to do it if he ever got able," was 
his excuse. And so, for everything he did, he quoted 
the dead brother, until his neighbors laughed and his 
workmen jested with each other about it. But what he 
planted grew ; what he raised found a profitable market. 
He did not sell raw material, but turned corn into cattle 
and forage into flesh. He imported shorthorns, then 
just coming into favor ; raised horses, bought horses, 
trained them sometimes ; and from everything he 
touched realized some advantage. 

Even the Queen, whom he kept from gratitude, yielded 
him a golden return. He had many offers for her, but 
he would accept none. He drove her sometimes, but 
never let the harness gall nor work tire her. He had 



Halcyon Days. 207 

promised her, he said, that she should live with him and 
have an easy time. Her progeny soon came to be worth 
almost unheard-of prices. The blood of the Belmont 
Mare grew more and more valuable as the achievements 
of her descendants became more notable. Every year 
some one of them lowered the record by seconds or 
fractions of a second. Already she was known as *' the 
dam of trotters," when the Queen's first foal, a son of 
Belmont's Abdallah, sold at three years old for a price 
even greater than that paid for his sire. From that time 
Horace Goodwin was known and recognized as one of 
the most successful breeders in the country ; but he 
would never race except to make a record. People 
called his success luck and his abstinence superstition. 
He did not talk about either except to Hubert — nobody 
called him Jack now except Deely Kincaid. It was the 
day of individuality in business, and Horace Goodwin's 
individuality was the key-note of his success. Organiza- 
tion had not yet eradicated manhood. 

For many reasons, the boy's relations with his uncle 
were more intimate than he had ever sustained to his 
father. Though the head of the family, Horace treated 
him more as a companion than a child. He told him his 
plans, encouraged him to make suggestions ; made him 
his agent, sometimes his lieutenant ; but kept it always 
before his mind that he must prepare for other work. 

" You know your father wanted you to go to college, 
and I promised that you should," he would say. " I 
don't see how I am going to get along without you, but 
you must go. I'll find the money and look after matters 
here, and when you get through we'll just divide — share 
and share alike. I guess that '11 be about right. I 
really hadn't anything to begin with, and if Seth had been 
alive it would all have been yours. But you must go to 



2o8 A Soil of Old Harry. 

college, and you must be getting ready for it. You 
needn't be in a hurry, but don't forget your books." 

This lenient rule was too much for the boy's moral 
nature to endure without relaxation of his purpose. 
Life on the farm under his uncle's regime suited him 
exactly. He was not fond of study, and even his 
mother's persuasions were not sufficient to keep him up 
to his work. His attendance at school was irregular 
and his progress not creditable. The mark upon his 
heel seldom troubled him ; he felt at liberty to indulge 
his fondness for horses so long as they were not his 
own. 

Deely Kincaid, still his chief companion, was glad to 
see him lose his morbid apprehension of the future, 
but began to grow alarmed when she found him falling 
behind in his studies. Her ambition for him was as 
keen as for herself, and for both it was insatiable. At 
sixteen he was not nearly ready for college, and his 
mother was suddenly alarmed by his persistent request 
to be allowed to go East with a drove of horses his 
uncle was about to send on. It was finally determined 
that in consideration of being allowed to do so, he 
should at once begin his work of preparation in earnest. 

His mother met him on their arrival in New York 
with the horses and took him to one of the most cele- 
brated schools of New England. She seemed very sad 
at parting with him ; and the boy, now fast growing to 
manhood, thinking only of her happiness, said impul- 
sively : 

" Ma, why don't you marry Uncle Horace ?" 

He was somewhat taken aback when, blushing 
deeply, she told him that when he came home for the 
vacation he would find his wish fulfilled, adding that it 
was her desire, and Horace's also, that he should still 
call the latter " Uncle." 



Halcyon Days. 209 

When she was gone, the knowledge of this fact 
seemed to put him very far away indeed from his past, 
and induced him to address himself more sedulously to 
the duties of the future than he otherwise would. He 
did not love study any better than before, but he had 
nothing to divert his attention from it, and made good 
progress. From that time until his graduation he had 
little thought of anything else. His mother's letters, 
his uncle's and Deeley's, sufficed to keep him in touch 
with his own world, and he did not desire any other. 

Once a year, at the summer vacation, he returned 
home for a brief period of unmixed enjoyment. The 
evidences of prosperity multiplied so rapidly that at 
each visit he had to take account of new ones. The 
house had first been tinished, and then had almost dis- 
appeared behind costlier additions. Barns and stables 
grew in number and value, and the young collegian 
found his old love for the horse returning as the best 
occupants of the stalls were placed at his disposal for 
long drives and rides with Deely Kincaid, now openly 
recognized as his betrothed, and growing even lovelier 
than the promise of her girlhood would have led one to 
expect. Even the birth of a little sister did not wean 
his mother's heart from him, nor affect his cordial 
relations with his uncle. He enjoyed their home no 
less than before, but he called it theirs, not his, any 
longer. He had begun to feel the impulse of separa- 
tion which thrust the fledgeling out of the parent nest ! 
Marshall Kincaid and his wife softened somewhat as 
the years went by, but their pride in their daughter 
grew stronger- than ever. In her anxiety to justify 
their hopes, Deely had pursued a course of study as 
extensive as it was incongruous, which finally began to 
tell upon her strength. It was before the days of colleges 
for women. 



2 1 o - A Son of Old Harry. 

There were only " female seminaries " then. This 
fact made the task of a woman seeking a liberal educa- 
tion far more difficult than that of the boy, since there 
was no prescribed curriculum, and she had to master 
both the solid work of the college course and the accom- 
plishments then deemed far more essential to her sex 
than knowledge. 

During her last vacation people began to talk about 
a decline, and hint at consumptive tendencies ; but her 
father and mother laughed at such forebodings. 

" She's a little puny," said the stalwart King of the 
Corners with all his old willfulness, replying to such a 
suggestion by one of a group of customers, as he sat 
upon the counter one summer evening, just after Hubert 
and Deely dashed up to the old inn, their horses smok- 
ing and their tones full of the subtle gleefulness of 
young love, " but she's only got one more year. She's 
been working pretty hard for a good while, but she'll 
have a rest then. No consumption about her, and no 
fear of a decline. Do you hear that laugh ? Clear as a 
bell. She's like her ma — there ain't much of her, but 
what there is is clear grit. No discount on her. She'll 
graduate next year, and she'll be away up at the head 
of her class, too, besides all she's done outside. She 
won't be like young Goodwin. I understand he 
graduated somewhere about the middle of his class. 
He's a smart fellow, but he ain't no such scholar as my 
Deely. She'll be top-notch, or she won't be nowhere. 
You mark my words. It's a pity she ain't a boy, so she 
could go to college sure enough, and just show 'em 
what can be done. Extras and all, she's done a deal 
more than the college course. Why, besides Latin and 
Greek, she's learned French an' German an' Italian, 
and what with her music and drawin* and paintin', I tell 
■you she's got through with a heap more'n the boy. He 



Halcyon Days. 211 

looks kind o' tired an' washed out, too, as if he'd had 
about as much as he could stand up to. He don't learn 
as quick as Deely though, an', besides that, bein' mewed 
up in a house don't come natural to a man, nohow. 

" They tell me they're goin' to send him back to the 
seminary — Theological Seminary — you know, where 
they polish off the college-made preachers — bound to 
make a minister of him, you see. But they won't ever 
do it ; he ain't that sort. That's what Deely thinks, an' 
I guess she knows him if anybody does. I'm glad he's 
goin' back to the city, this year, though, for Deely's 
sake — ^be a lot of company for her — but after that he'd 
better come back here and settle down. Now, that 
Horace has been 'lected to the Legislater, he needs 
some one to look after his affairs, anyhow. 

" They'd made a team — he an' Deely. Needn't ever 
do a stroke o' work, or they might do anything they'd a 
mind to. He's got luck, an' Deely s got determination, 
an' they'd both have a good speck of money. Half of 
all the Goodwin property goes to him, you know, when 
he's twenty-one — that's this fall some time. That was 
the bargain when Horace married the widder — a good 
bargain on his part, too. You see, he got half the 
property and the widder besides. But he's kept it 
growin', no mistake about that. They had it all writ 
down in black an' white. Squire Kendall fixed it up, 
an' no lawyer has ever been able to drive a cart an' 
oxen through a paper he draw'd yet. So the young 
fellow's all right, so far as money goes. 

" Will they get married ? Oh, of course, after a while. 
They've been sweet on each other for years and years. 
Deely could do a good deal better, no doubt about that. 
She's got style, you know — is one of them gals the 
fellers take to as nat'rally as bees to a pot of honey. 
She might just as well marry a hundred thousand as 



2 12 A Son of Old Harry. 

twent}/ — every bit. She knows it, too, as well as any- 
body, an' her ma gets real put out with her for her 
stubbornness. But she won't hear a word 'bout anybody 
else ; won't hardly treat a feller decent as soon's she sees 
he wants to make love to her. She's 30 wrapt up in 
Jack — that's what she always calls him, you know — that 
her ma an' I just quit tryin' to break it off any more'n 
if they was man an' wife. 

" Of course, we haven't no objection to young Good- 
win — only this nonsense about his bein' a minister — an' 
if he should \.Qk.Q. a turn to business he'd be a clipper, an' 
no mistake. But if people keep fussin' round tryin' to 
make a silk puss out of a sow's ear, they're apt to spoil 
it for souse, an' then 'tain't wuth nothin'. There's a 
sort o' risk in it — always is i n these people that are too 
religious. Many an' many a man has gone to the devil 
by tryin' to be too good ; insistin' on doin' somethin' the 
Lord didn't cut him out to do. That's what I'm afraid 
of with him, A man don't want too much conscience 
in this world. It's always standin' in his way, and 
henderin' him when he ought to be improvin' his oppor- 
tunities. For my part, I never seen a very rich man 
who had any more religion than he could afford to 
carry around wherever his interests demanded. If he's 
all the time inquirin' whether this or that or t' other 
thing's right, why, first he knows, he hain't got no time 
to make money ; an' in these days m.oney's wuth more'n 
religion, and I've my 'pinion it's goin' to keep gittin' 
more an' more so right straight along. 

" A certain amount of religion is well enough — pays in 
fact. I've been sorry sometimes I didn't take on a little 
myself. There's Hod Goodwin, now ; he's got just 
enough ; it's a great help to him sometimes, and ain't 
ever in the way. You couldn't get him to put a horse 
on the track an' bet he'd beat any other horse for any 



Halcyon Days, 213 

money, I don't s'pose ; but he'll raise the horse an' hire 
that little nigger, who is jest as full of tricks as Satan is 
of sin, to train him, an' then he'll let him run or trot, 
and others can bet on him if they want tt). Then, if he 
wins, he'll sell him for a price, ten, twenty, fifty times 
as big as he'd got if he hadn't won. For my part, I 
don't see no difference 'twixt bettin' on a winner an' 
raisin' a winner for others to bet on. But one's all right 
for a church member an' t'other isn't. 

" If I thought the young man wouldn't ever have any 
more religion 'n Hod, or would have that kind, I wouldn't 
mind it. But you know his father wasn't that way. 
I've never quite foiind out how 'twas that Hod managed 
to get his permission to run that colt. There was some 
sort of deception about it somewhere, an' I'm just as 
well satisfied as if I'd seen it done, that it was his 
conscience that killed Seth Goodwin. They say he'd 
made up his mind 'twas all right for him to do it, 
because he was so bad off and his family needed the 
money ; but what kind o' reasoning is that ? It's my 
'pinion he made up his mind to do it anyhow, an' just 
died fightin' with his conscience, 'cause he thought 'twas 
wrong. Now, if the boy should take after him, I 
wouldn't have Deely marry him for anythin'. I don't 
know as he will, but they tell me he's jest as hot an 
Abolitionist as Seth was, an' after a man gets that far, 
there's no knowin' where he'll stop. He's sure to want 
to run the world his own way an' make everything over 
on a ' higher law ' model — jest accordin' to his own 
whim. I wouldn't trust an Abolitionist as far as I could 
throw a bull by the tail, no matter how good he was. In 
fact, the better such people are the worse they're likely 
to get. 

" I don't say 'tain't right for the niggers to be free ; 
but what'd we do with 'em if they was ? An' what's the 



2 14 -^ "^^^^ ^f ^^^ Harry. 

sense of jest tearin' up the country an* cuttin' each 
other's throats 'cause they aren't? An' that's what 
we're comin' to jest as fast as these folks can push us on, 
or I can't read'writin'. 

" An' the very worst kind of Abolitionist is an Abo- 
lition minister. I'm afraid that's the sort o' preacher 
they're goin' to make out of young Goodwin ; an' if he 
does turn out that way, you can jest set it down as a fact 
that I'll see that gal o' mine in her coffin 'fore she shall 
marry him — with my consent, that is ; an' I promise 
you that if she marries without my consent, she won't 
ever see the color of my money afterward, I wouldn't 
even give her the broken bank bills piled up in the 
drawer there to save her from starvin' ! I wouldn't, by 
the Eternal !" 

Marshall Kincaid gave his thigh a resounding whack 
as he made this declaration, and, leaping off the counter, 
began making preparations to close the store for the 
night. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

DUTY RUNS WITH INCLINATION, 

Hubert Goodwin did not exactly fancy the notion of 
entering the Theological Seminary, He not only did 
not feel any call to preach, but he was not even what is 
termed religiously inclined, without which, preparation 
for the ministry as a profession is hardly regarded with 
favor in this country. Not that he was at all irreligious ; 
but he was neither inclined to metaphysical disquisition 
nor had he that sympathetic nature which fits one for 
counsel and monition. Organization, administration, 



Duty Runs with htclination. 215 

the adaption of means to specific ends — these constituted 
the decided bent of his mind. He felt that he would be 
out of place in the atmosphere of the seminary, not 
because it was religious, but because it was speculative, 
analytical, demonstrative. He did not care about the 
grounds of faith, either on his own account or for the 
sake of others. He believed ; that was enough for him. 
So, too, he did not care to speculate about spiritual mat- 
ters. He had no curiosity about the plan of salvation, 
and no religious experiences worth mentioning. He was 
not given to self -dissection, nor fond of noting the oper- 
ations of his own mind. He liked to do. He would 
have been willing to fight for his faith — would have been 
an unflinching martyr, if there had been any demand 
for martyrs ; but he was not worshipful by nature nor 
inclined to spiritual diagnosis. He believed, and was 
willing to do whatever was needful to be done, but he 
had no liking for the duty of persuading men to believe 
or to do. He did not even care to pray, since the act 
seemed to him often unnecessary, and at other times 
almost an impeachment of divine mercy. 

He had talked with the president of the seminary 
before he left the city, telling him the circumstances as 
fully as he could and his own feelings in regard to the 
matter. As is usual with the strong nature that is 
induced to seek advice, he found himself more unde- 
cided afterwards than before. All this thoughtful and 
experienced man could do was to advise him to adopt 
whatever course seemed to him right. This was the 
very problem he was trying to solve — what was his 
duty. If he had been sure it was his duty to study for 
the ministry he would have done it without hesitation ; 
but this he could not decide. 

If there had been any other profession to which he 
felt particuarly inclined he would not have hesitated to 



2i6 A So7i of Old Harry. 

embrace it, but there was none. Had not a college bred 
farmer in those days been an absurdity, he might have 
turned to agriculture. As a fact, though he did not 
know it, his decided bent was for that sort of financial 
adventure which we call speculation, aptitude for which 
was the secret of his uncle's success. He thought of 
these things with that sort of unhappiness which comes 
from indecision, but he spoke of them to no one. His 
was not a nature that clamored for advice. Besides, he 
knew the wishes of all whose opinions he cared any- 
thing about. 

" Well, what are you going to do ?" asked his uncle 
one day when the vacation was half over. 

They were sitting under the great elm whose shadow 
seemed especially imbued with his father's presence. 
It was here that his father had sat day after day dur- 
ing that last summer when he was fighting with death 
for the material triumph which had been the dream of 
his life. It was from this point that he had watched the 
preparations for the Great Race and with unflinching 
confidence awaited the result. It was here that the boy 
had heard his final words of approval when the struggle 
had been won. 

" I don't know," answered the young man, thought- 
fully. 

Time had made changes in the appearance of Hubert 
Goodwin, but they were only the natural changes 
which transforms the boy into the man. He had been 
a boy of ordinary appearance, and had grown into a 
man without striking characteristics. He was of 
ordinary height, well built, showing endurance rather 
than great strength, the heavy lines of his father's face 
softened by the milder elements of his mother's visage, 
but his full eye, blue as it was, shone dark under its 
heavy brow, shaded with long lashes. His face indi- 



Duty Runs with Inclination. 217 

cated decision, and his uncle, looking at him as he 
leaned easily back in his chair, knew that, however 
much he might yield to the wishes of those interested 
in his welfare, the time would come when he would 
determine for himself what he would do, and when 
that time came, their advice would count for nothing in 
the balance against his will. 

" That being the case," said Horace Goodwin, with a 
shrewd appreciation of the yet undeveloped manhood 
of his hearer, " I think you had better go to the semi- 
nary for a while at least. I believe I know something 
how you feel. You have been through a long course of 
preparation ; think that you ought to be able to do 
something ; perhaps think you might do any one of 
several things, but have no special inclination to any of 
them. Of course, you don't want to make any mis- 
take by a wrong decision. Your father wished you to 
prepare yourself for the ministry. He was a wise 
man as well as a good one. You know the men of our 
family are always in danger of going to the bad unless 
some special strain is put on them. I can realize now 
that it may have been our father's death that saved 
Seth from making shipwreck of his life, just as his 
death, by devolving on me both responsibility and 
opportunity, showed my bent and gave scope to activ- 
ities which were before either useless or harmful. 
The seminary seems to me a good place to wait till you 
are ready do decide as to your vocation. It will be a 
change of interests and associations, and from all I can 
learn, give you a chance to study other things as well 
as theology. You have not yet received a call ; perhaps 
you never will. Then, again, it may be that your sur- 
roundings and associations have not been such as to 
incline you to that work. I think you owe it to your 
father's memory to go a little beyond rather than stop 



2i8 A Son of Old Harry. 

short of what you think he would require if he were 
present instead of me. I am sure you won't lose any- 
thing by doing so. 

" I wish you would go back and try it for a year or 
two, anyhow. It can't hurt you, and I feel as if I'd 
promised Seth that you should. Of course I didn't, 
only in a general way, but I should hardly be content if 
I didn't ask you to do that much, at least. Don't mind 
the expense, we can aflEord it ; and then if you don't 
wish to go on, you'll probably learn what you really 
want to do. If you don't get a call, why I'm clear of 
my promise and you of yours. Then — well, it'll be time 
enough to plan when that happens." 

" But Deely thinks — " the young man began to make 
reply. 

" Yes, I know ; she thinks you won't ever be a minis- 
ter. She says you're too good. That's humbug, of 
course, but I don't see why you're not good enough. 
But if you don't ever preach, I s'pose the seminary 
won't hurt you, and, as I understand it, you can study 
about what you choose if you don't take a notion to 
theology. They tell me there isn't any better place to 
put a convenient addition to a college education than a 
theological seminary. Of course, you know more about 
that than I ; but it seems to me that there couldn't be 
anything better for a colt that's been a little overtrained 
than to turn him loose in a pasture and let him pick. 
You've had to stick to the regular course in college. 
Now why not go to the seminary and pick out your own 
course ? If it don't lead to the ministry, it's dollars to 
dimes that it will lead to the very place you ought to go. 
Besides, you'll be right in the city with Deely. She 
don't graduate until next summer, and I expect she'd be 
lonesome enough if she didn't see you once or twice a 



Dtity Runs with Inclination. 219 

week. I guess she's seen you as often as that for the 
past two years, hasn't she ?" 

" Well — yes," answered the young- collegian, with a 
blush. 

" Nothing to be ashamed of, my son. A man that's 
ashamed of honest love isn't fit to have a sweetheart ; 
and if there ever was a girl that was just as near perfec- 
tion as womankind ever gets, her name is Delia Kin- 
caid. Her love has been so much a matter of course, 
that 1 don't believe you half appreciate your good for- 
tune. I never saw anything like it. I don't believe 
she's had a thought of the future since she was a dozen 
years old without putting you in the foreground of her 
dream. Suppose you should lose her ! I don't want 
to alarm you," he added hastily, seeing the pallor in the 
young man's face, " but she don't seem very well of late ; 
been studying too hard, I suppose. I've always told 
Kincaid he'd kill her, and I'm afraid he will, if you don't 
look sharp and prevent it." 

" What can I do ?" Hubert asked, gazing earnestly 
into his uncle's face. 

" Well, I'll tell you what I'd do in your place. Take a 
horse with you when you go back, and get an order 
from her mother to the president, or whatever they call 
the head of the school she is attending, for her to go 
out with you two or three times a week, or as often as 
you choose. That would be a good thing for both of 
you. It'll improve her health and make you contented. 
It will do you good, too. A young man can't be with a 
girl like her too often. 

" It may be you haven't any call to preach. 'Tisn't 
every man that has, and it's lucky it's so ; but I wouldn't 
back out of anything I'd set in for until I knew for cer- 
tain that wasn't my hold. There's plenty of places in 
the world for you to do a man's work outside of a pul- 



220 A Son of Old Harry, 

pit ; but it always seems to me a young man ought to 
take a year or so after he's through college to loaf 
around, look the world in the face, and determine just 
how he'll tackle it. I think we are on the threshold of 
great events. Being in politics lately has given me a 
wider outlook than I used to have. No man has a right 
to live for himself in a republic. There are great ques- 
tions coming on to be decided pretty soon. They are 
too big for me. Some of them I think I could deter- 
mine after a fashion ; of others I cannot even guess at 
the solution. I have thought you might, perhaps, do 
something in this direction, if you shouldn't care to be 
a preacher. It will require manhood, courage, and 
brain ; of that I am sure. How they will be applied or 
where they will come from, I do not know. Of one 
thing you may be certain : the country, the American 
Republic, means more than we have ever thought — to 
the world, I mean. Up to this time it has been our 
country ; after this it will be the world's. Until now, 
we have followed the world ; have taken lessons from 
other countries, and counted ourselves successful just in 
proportion to our success in imitating their institutions 
or improving on them. After a little we are going to 
lead. You will live to see the time when our country 
will be the foremost nation of the world, and when the 
now almost unoccupied West will be the real seat of 
empire. At such a time it cannot be bad policy to wait 
a while, in the meantime studying the forces and condi- 
tions of our life, before determining just where you will 
make a plunge into the great conflict. 

" Don't confine yourself to study. Stay at the semi- 
nary, and don't neglect study ; but mingle with people ; 
observe public affairs ; get out into the air and be a man 
among men. 

" Here's my idea." continued the uncle, rising from 



Duty Runs with Inclination. 221 

his chair and walking back and forth on the lawn : 
" Whatever you are going to do you need variety and 
extent of observation. Why not take a horse and sulky 
and drive back to the city ? Take your time for it ; go 
where you please ; see whatever you have not seen that 
lies along the way. It's not a very extended course of 
travel ; perhaps you will want a longer one some time. 
You may want to go abroad next year. There isn't any 
reason why you shouldn't, that I know of. Then you 
would wish you knew your own country more thoroughly. 
When you get back to the city keep the horse and drive 
him every day. You've got the knack of training a nag — 
getting the best out of him — and I don't see why you 
shouldn't make some money, and at the same time give 
yourself a little more color — put yourself in better condi- 
tion than you are now. I think that's half what's the 
matter ; you need the open air, exercises and something 
to interest you, outside of books." 

** You remember, I've taken that trip once," said the 
young man, with a smile. 

" Yes ; you went East with a drove and saw more of 
life in forty days than you had ever seen before or have 
seen since. Have you any notion how the world has 
changed even in those few years ? There are no more 
droves crowding the roads eastward. We met the 
locomotive just west of Buffalo, then. Do you remem- 
ber that evening when you first saw its fiery eye headed 
westward along the lake shore ? There were small cities 
of ** paddy houses " built all along the track, where the 
work was still going on. You wondered if it would ever 
reach Ortonville. Two years afterward you came home 
without doing a mile of staging. All the droves go on 
the railroads now. In a few years, a man who has ridden 
or driven from the East to the West, or from the West 
to the East, will be a curiosity." 



222 A Son of Old Harry. 

"It's a pretty long drive," said Hubert, rising and 
joining his uncle in his walk. 

" You've got plenty of time, I'll tell you what I'll do. 
You've seen that big bay in the south barn ?" 

Hubert nodded. 

" Ever paid any particular attention to him ?" 

" I noticed that he was big and homely, and I judged — 
old." 

" There's where you are mistaken. I thought so, too^ 
at first, and was never more surprised in my life than 
when I opened his jaws and saw as pretty a six-year old 
mouth as you ever looked at. I expect his dam must 
have been old when he was foaled. That sometimes 
makes a colt look like a patriarch, you know. Well, 
that horse's got something in him." 

Hubert smiled significantly. 

" You think he'll need a good deal in him, eh ? Well, 
that's true, too ; he's a big horse and a big eater, even 
for his size ; but that ungainly fellow is going to dis- 
appoint heaps of people before he quits going up and 
down * on this terrestrial ball.' 

" Where'd I run across him ? Over in Pennsylvania — 
Titusville. Went there to inquire into this rock-oil 
business ; a friend of mine was interested in it. Looks 
as if it was going to be a big thing, but I don't see just 
how it's going to be handled. He was drawing barrels 
— the horse, I mean — backing his loads on to the boats 
without any driving to speak of. He took my eye by 
his intelligence and strength. One morning I saw the 
boys racing back to the stable after having ridden the 
horses to water. This big fellow was so far ahead that 
none of the rest were in it. Heavens ! What a stride^! 
What an arm ! What a shoulder ! What a thigh !" 

" And what a foot ?" interjected Hubert with a laugh. 

"Yes, and what afoot !" assented the uncle. " That's 



Duty Runs ivith Inclination. 223 

just what I said, 'What a foot !' Did one ever see its 
equal ? Chris insists that he ought to have double 
price for shoeing him. But in spite of his feet, I saw at 
once that he was a great horse — or might have been. I 
thought he was old then. I sauntered around to the 
stable after breakfast, looked him over, learned his age, 
and bought him out of hand for what was thought a 
pretty stiff price. I wouldn't take ten times as much 
for him now. Yet nobody thinks him fast. I have 
jogged him a little, and taken him down to ' Number 
Two,' to try him once or twice. The way he handles 
those big feet would astonish you. I don't know his 
pedigree yet ; he's evidently a Patchen or a brother of 
Patchen — I'm inclined to think a brother. His dam 
must have been a good one, though, for he certainly 
received that head as a direct inheritance from Rysdyk's 
Hambletonian — couldn't have got it anywhere else. I 
believe with good handling that horse can lower any 
record that's been made. Now, why not take him, use 
him as long as you need, and along in the spring sell 
him. You are in a good place to do it. There's a track 
there, and lots of men that want speed and are willing 
to pay for it. I'll make you a present of him, Hubert, 
if you'll do it. Let's go and have a look at him. " 

The two men sauntered off toward the stables. 

Horace Goodwin was a shrewd man, and he had 
touched, in his remarks, the three strongest forces in the 
young man's nature — his reverence for his father, his 
love for his betrothed and his fondness for a horse — and 
had made through each a cogent appeal for the course 
he advised. It is hardly strange that the young man 
yielded to such urging. 

'is.- 



CHAPTER IX. 

A SURPRISE PARTY ON THE BAY ROAD. 

It was early winter, Hubert Goodwin had been a 
student of theology' for a whole term. He had deter- 
rnined to remain during the year, though a feeling 
strongly antipathetic to a farther continuance of the 
course marked out for him had already sprung up in his 
heart. The events of the year had been momentous. 
They had fixed his attention on other matters, and made 
the ministerial profession seem to him dull and insipid 
in comparison with a life of activity and tangible achieve- 
ment. Added to this, he had had something approach- 
ing an estrangement with his betrothed. On his pro- 
posing weekly or semi-weekly rides, she had frankly 
pointed out the unseemliness of the proposal to one in 
her situation. The truth was that her ambition stood 
in the way of the weekly outings quite as much as her 
sense of propriety. She had fixed her heart on gradu- 
ating first in her class, and she had many rivals in the 
Brainerd Classical Institute for Ladies, whose ambition 
was as keen as her own, and whom she had hitherto dis- 
tanced only by the most unremitting application. 
Hubert did not take kindly to this check upon his care- 
fully matured plans. He did not realize how dear her 
ambition was to her. He looked with all the manly 



A Surprise Party on the Bay Road, 225 

scorn of one who has secured a Latin certificate of 
scholarship from a college duly authorized to confer 
degrees, upon the first honor of the Brainerd Classical 
Institute, and never once imagined that, saving her love 
for him, this was the one thing on which the daughter 
of Marshall Kincaid had set her fiery heart with inflex- 
ible purpose. The loss of love w6uld kill her, but she 
would rather not live than fail of her ambition. It was 
a foolish notion, but in those days, when high attain- 
ment was more difficult for women, it was a worthy 
ambition for one who had long before determined to be 
a co-worker with the man she loved. Hubert Goodwin 
did not understand these things, and felt himself seriously 
aggrieved by her refusal to adopt the plan he had marked 
out for their year's sojourn in the city. It made him 
moody and discontented, and though he did not neglect 
his studies he felt little interest in the life of the sem- 
inary. 

The mark upon his heel began to annoy him, too. 
The horse which he had driven from home had shown 
such qualities as to awaken all his latent desire for 
equine association and admiration for equine excellence. 
He had placed him with a farmer, just outside the city, 
and thither he repaired on Wednesday and Friday 
afternoons of each week to give him exercise and train- 
ing. He often remained over Saturday and sometimes 
until Monday. The farmer's daughter, a bright, spirited, 
intelligent girl, took great interest in the horse left in 
her father's care, and still greater interest in the young 
theologian who stole away from his seminary to speed 
and train him. She often rode with him and fully 
shared his confidence in the horse which he was secretly 
preparing to take a place among the noted steeds of his 
time. Her sympathy was very pleasant, and it was not 



226 A Son of 'Old Harry. 

long- before Hubert found himself counting on her wel- 
come and confiding to her his hopes and difi&culties. 

He did not once think of loving any one but Delia 
Kincaid, but, seeing little of her, he naturally appropri- 
ated the sympathy and appreciation which were nearer 
at hand. - He had not hidden the fact of his engage- 
ment from his new friend. Perhaps the very knowledge 
of it had served to draw them closer together. At any 
rate, it was with a curious feeling of tmaccustomedness, 
that one Saturday, in the early winter, he found himself 
waiting on the platform beside the drive, which circled 
in front of the Brainerd Classical Institute, at which the 
guests were accustomed to dismount, holding the reins, 
and awaiting the appearance of Delia Kincaid. He had 
written fixing the hour and knew that she would be 
expecting his arrival. He did not, therefore, hitch the 
horse and climb the imposing steps to announce him- 
self, but knocked his feet together and stamped back 
and forth upon the platform to stir the blood during the 
brief moments of waiting. The cold was not severe, 
but an hour's ride had given him a sense of numbness 
and chili. 

At length the door opened, and Delia ran down the 
steps, along the path with its heaped-up bank of snow 
on either side, and stood beside him upon the platform. 

" Isn't it jolly !" she exclaimed, giving him her hand, 
and glancing from him to the sleigh, with undisguised 
mirth. " Haven't I obeyed orders ? But what does it 
all mean ? You ought to have seen Miss Brainerd when 
I showed her your note. ' It is certainly a very strange 
request,' she said, ' but Mr. Goodwin is so careful of you 
there can be n6 impropriety in complying. They are 
probably going to have a masquerade sleigh-ride, or 
something of that sort.' So I made bold to ask if she 
had something that would do for the occasion, and she 



A Surprise Party on the Bay Road. 227 

hunted up this cloak which was out of fashion years 
before I was born, and oif ered me a bonnet of the time 
of * Tippecanoe and Tyler, too,' but I thought that was 
a little too much, and so put on this hood. You know 
it is * countrified,' for you've ridden with it before. 
That was what you wanted, I believe, * countrified I' 
What impertinence! To ask a young- lady to make 
herself look * countrified !' Do I look ' countrified ' 
enough to please you, sir ?" 

She pirouetted gracefully before him, as he stood with 
the reins in his hand, waiting to assist her into the 
sleigh, looking up archly as she concluded the movement, 
as if challenging his verdict. 

" I guess you'll do," was the laconic answer, though, 
the young man's eyes sparkled with admiration as they 
took in the slight form snugly wrapped in a long, blue 
cloak of antique pattern surmounted by a quilted silk 
hood which matched the cloak in color, and was dotted 
over with white tufts like snow flakes, while underneath 
its cape rippled down upon the cloak a cataract of pale 
golden curls. 

" Don't you dare look around," she continued, banter- 
ingly, " Every girl in Brainerd Institute is watching 
us, and I'm sure every last one of them would fall in 
love with you, if they should get a fair view of that 
costume. And how terrible that would be ! Think of 
three hundred and twenty-one girls, besides a score of 
more or less experienced teachers, all in love with the 
same fellow !" 

Of course, Hubert stole a glance at the windows of 
the Institute, and found that each one framed a group 
of smiling faces. 

" They're all agog to see us off," said the girl, in a 
low, confidential tone, as she gathered her skirts about 
her knees, and taking his hand, sprang lightly into the 



2 28 A Son of Old Marry. 

sleigh. " I don't wonder, either," she continued, as he 
tucked the great buffalo robe about her, and then stand- 
ing on the rave, knocked one foot after the other against 
it to remove the snow. " You and Henlopen and this 
old sleigh do make a picture. Henlopen is no beauty 
at any time, but with that harness and that cutter, he's 
better than a circus. Just look at him ! I thought I 
should have died of laughing when they called me to 
see you coming up the drive." 

The horse of which she spoke was a dead, blood-bay, 
high in the withers, seemingly raw-boned, though a 
second glance showed him to be in fine condition ; so 
deep in the chest as to convey the impression that he 
was light behind, though the close observer would have 
seen that, while finely gathered at the loin, there was 
an unusual length and harmonious slope of thigh which 
indicated great propelling power. A long tail, fine and 
silky, carried with a swaying droop, tended to enhance 
the false impression as to the strength of the quarters, 
while the thin, light mane, which fell half-way down 
the long straight neck, held always upon the level of 
the withers, increased the impression of its length and 
thickness. From the end of this a great lean head 
depended, with large mobile ears and a muzzle singularly 
full and heavy. Big bony legs supported this unattrac- 
tive superstructure, ending in hoofs of apparently 
unusual size, though, when the weight of the animal 
was taken into consideration, one found that it was the 
fine-drawn lines of the strong flat legs rather than the 
size of the hoof itself which gave this impression, 

" Why do you insist on driving such a horse. Jack .'" 
asked the young lady, as the great animal strode lazily 
down the drive to the street. 

" You haven't seen him move lately." 

" How should I ?" 



A Surprise Party on the Bay Road. 229 

" That's what I brought him on here for ; I wanted 
to take you out once or twice every week." 

" But you know, Jack, Miss Brainerd did not approve 
of — of such frequent rides." 

" You have your mother's permission." 

" But she did not know, and Miss Brainerd has to 
consider so many things. She was willing we should 
go once in two weeks — a whole half -day, if we chose. I 
think she was very reasonable." 

" You know your health demands fresh air, and a 
good deal of it." 

** O, I have been very careful, because I knew you 
were anxious," she said, stealing a glance at her com- 
panion. He was looking straight forward at his horse, 
with evident traces of displeasure on his countenance. 
" I thought we would have such nice times, but you 
haven't come — not near as often as you might." 

" I thought you were getting tired of me." 

" Now, Jack — " There was a tremor in the fresh 
young voice, and the girl looked off over the snowy 
level to hide the tears that crept out on the silken lashes 
despite her determination to keep them back. 

The Brainerd Classical Institute for Ladies stood just 
outside the city. The first heavy snow of the season 
lay soft and smooth upon the ground, showing steel- 
blue shadows along the fences and under the edges of 
the few drifts which had formed as it fell. It had 
been beaten down into level tracks before the weather 
became severe, and now the dry, cold snow, creaking 
under the runners but not crumbling with the weight 
of the horse, formed the very perfection of a sleighing 
track. They were driving toward the city, the great 
bay consuming the space with long, swinging strides 
whose beauty was then unnoticed but which were 
destined very soon to be the admiration of many, 



230 A Son of Old Harry. 

" Where did you get this rig, Jack ?" 

" Out in the country." 

" Did you get that hat and coat there, too ?" 

" Yes ; ain't they stunning ?" 

" That depends ; if we had a basket or two I think we 
would make a very good country couple going to 
market." 

" Or returning from it. By Jove, Dee, you've struck 
it!" exclaimed the young man, with enthusiasm. " I'll 
stop at the very next grocery and get them." 

" But what does it mean 1 Is it a masquerade ?" 

" Rather," with a quizzical smile. '* Henlopen makes 
his debut to-day." 

" What do you mean ?" 

" Wait until I get those baskets and I'll tell you." 

He drew up before a grocery store, and sprang out. 
The grocer stared at the curious figure that entered, and 
still more at the order he gave. An old russet-brown 
overcoat, with a cape, and high, fur-lined collar, a wide- 
brimmed, high-crowned white fur hat, and red woolen 
mittens, having separate forefingers, the thumb and 
forefinger lined with soft buckskin, were the salient 
points of the costume. Whether the man was young or 
old, required a second glance to determine. He ordered 
a couple of market-baskets to be filled with eggs and 
vegetables, which he placed in the sleigh so as to be in 
plain sight, though apparently intended to be covered 
by the robe. Having paid for his purchases, he took his 
place beside his surprised companion. 

" Do tell me. Jack, what all this means ?" pleaded the 
young lady, as they drove off. 

" Well, you know. Dee, I brought Henlopen on here, 
just to ride with you — Uncle Horace gave him to me for 
that express purpose. I expected to keep him until 
spring, and then get him into shape and sell him. Of 



A Surprise Parly on the Bay Road. 231 

course, that wouldn't be much trouble if we drove him 
once or twice a week all winter. Such a horse needs 
work and lots of it, and that's all he does need. When 
I found you didn't care about riding after him — " 

" But I did, Jack." 

" Well " — with an expressive shrug — " once a fortnight 
isn't enough to count. It was no use to keep a horse 
for that ; so I put him out in the country with a farmer 
I happened to know, and went out to drive him every 
Wednesday and Friday afternoons." 

" Is that where you have been Saturdays ?" 

" Mostly. I made up my mind, you see, that I might 
as well sell the horse this winter as next summer. 
There's a lot of fancy horsemen here in the city who are 
fond of speeding their nags out on the Bay Road when 
the sleighing is good. There's Mr. Sedley, with that 
span of blacks which he thinks will lay over any straight 
trotter in this region ; and Tom Burton, with his gray 
pacer, which has all he can do to keep even step with 
them ; and a dozen more, real ' goers,' that are sure to 
be out on a day like this." 

He glanced up at the dull, leaden sky as he spoke, 
and continued : 

" You see it's a perfect day ; no wind or sun, not cool 
enough to be uncomfortable, nor soft enough to make a 
horse ball up. Oh, they're sure to be out !" 

" Well, what if they are ?" 

" What if they are ? Why, I'm going to introduce 
them to Henlopen, and show 'em how to trot ; that's 
all." 

" In this rig ?" 

" Nothing else. Don't you be afraid ; this isn't as bad 
a * rig' as you might think. The harness is a little heavy, 
but it fits him and he's used to it. The sleigh looks 
heavy, too, but the runners are hard cast-iron and have 



232 A Soft of Old Harry. 

a smooth, glassy surface that does not stick or cling to 
stones or sand like the lighter wrought-iron casing of 
the modern sleigh. So, on the whole, we're not so badly 
fixed. Besides, Henlopen is as strong as an elephant." 

" But — can he trot ?" asked the girl, incredulously. 
♦' Oh, of course he can ! I might have known," she 
added, hastily. 

" Trust a Goodwin to know a horse," Hubert answered, 
almost bitterly. " I haven't got a red spur on my heel 
for nothing. Did you think I brought him all the way 
from home for his beauty ?" 

" I didn't know — you didn't tell me — " apologetically. 

" I wanted to surprise you, but — no matter. Here we 
are at the Bay Road, and there's Sedley with his blacks. 
Now you'll see some fun. I hope Parker is somewhere 
about ; it will do him a world of good." 

" Who is he ?" 

** The farmer who looks after Henlopen." 

The Bay Road was a lively scene at that moment. 
Gay costumes, beautiful equipages and fine horses filled 
the broad, gently curving avenue, which was renowned 
as the best winter trotting course in the world. It was 
in splendid condition, and the fashion and fancy of the 
city were out in force to enjoy it. Bells tinkled, whips 
cracked, shouts and laughter prevailed ; everything 
testified to the keen enjoyment of the drivers, spectators, 
and even the sleek, finely trained beasts themselves, 
from whose flying feet flew backward a hail of beaten 
snow under the high -perched sleighs. 

A portion of this course was especially reserved for 
trials of speed. On one side of this there was an open 
space where both foot-passengers and sleighs might 
stand and see the frequently recurring contests, while 
on the other side, the stream of gay equipages flowed 
steadily on without interrupting the sport. As if by 



A Surprise Party on the Bay Road, 233 

accident, Hubert drove into the space reserved for trials 
of speed, in the very track of a pair of glossy blacks, 
gayly caparisoned, and attached to a sleigh which, 
although containing four persons, seemed formed of 
spider-webs in comparison with the clumsy affair which 
Henlopen was steadily and unconcernedly dragging 
along. 

A chorus of warnings and objurgations greeted this 
piece of awkwardness on the part of the supposed 
countryman, 

"Get out of the way !" called out the driver of tlie 
blacks, who were just settling down to accept the 
challenge of a slender limbed chestnut, which had stolen 
noiselessly up, and now threatened to slip by the cham- 
pion trotters of the Bay Road. 

" Get out of the way !" roared the crowd, anxious to 
see the trial of speed between the renowned roadsters 
and their bold challenger. 

"Tip him over !" 

" Pitch him out !" 

" Drive over him !" 

" Come out. Country !" 

" What have you got to sell ?" 

These were some of the cries that greeted the appar- 
ently unconscious driver of Henlopen. 

"What's the matter?" he asked, looking around in 
well-assumed surprise. "Want to go by us, mister?" 
glancing over his shoulder at the driver of the blacks. 

" Get out of the way !" was the angry rejoinder. 

In an instant, the heads of the blacks were even with 
the dash-board of the old-fashioned cutter. In another 
second, the black hoofs were throwing a shower of crisp 
snow into the cutter, which forced Delia to hide her 
head under the robe. 

" Gee-wJiillikins !" exclaimed Hubert, snatching 



234 -^ '^^^ <^f ^^^ Harry. 

awkwardly at his reins. The crowd laughed at the 
countryman's comical plight. 

" Tsst — tsst — tsst — tsst !" A sharp, broken sibilation 
came from Hubert's slightly parted lips. The big bay 
gathered his feet under him ; his driver leaned back, 
pulling wildly upon the reins ; but the sharp recurring 
sibilation continued. The trim blacks were already at 
the bay's head. Then the long ears dropped back upon 
the neck, the great coarse muzzle was outstretched, and 
side by side with the crack roadsters, Henlopen, with 
easy, magnificent strides, swept over the fancy course. 
The crowd laughed and cheered. Of course, it was 
only a spurt ; the old bay would break in a moment. 

But he did not break. For a while, the mocking 
cheers were hushed in surprise, only to break out again 
in genuine admiration. The driver of the blacks loos- 
ened the reins and gave his horses a cluck of encourage- 
ment. They shrank closer to the ground, and the 
polished ebon legs flew back and forth as if impelled by 
electric force. But still the great coarse muzzle held its 
place, half open now, with two rows of ivory shining 
between the back-drawn lips, while an angry eye shone 
over the brown, cracked blinker, which fell backward 
when the driver pulled the reins. 

And how he did pull ! He leaned back in his seat 
and braced his feet against the front of the sleigh, knock- 
ing out, one after another, the baskets, whose contents 
rolled and scattered about the smooth track, adding by 
their heterogeneous character very greatly to the 
amusement of the spectators. Delia nestled her head 
against her lover's shoulder, to hide her laughter, leav- 
ing only a peep-hole underneath the hood through 
which she could see the sport. Every one took this for 
evidence of fright, and it added greatly to the realism 
of the performance. 



A Surprise Party on the Bay Road. 235 

Still it was counted only a spurt, though such a 
remarkable one as to be a good joke on Sedley. But 
now the bay began to draw away from the quick-step- 
ping blacks. The big horse showed no sign of break- 
ing. The great hoofs rose and fell with the regularity 
of a walking-beam. The silky tail, half -raised, swayed 
back and forth like a triumphing banner. The mighty 
arms and steaming quarters assumed unexpected lines 
of beauty. The heads of the blacks fell steadily back- 
ward. Now they were opposite the dashboard ! Soon 
the spray of the off one's gleaming nostril fell on the 
cheek of the spirited girl, who, sitting bolt upright now, 
was gazing with rapt admiration at the splendid action 
of the horse before her. The countryman, with his 
white hat pushed back upon his head, held the reins 
steadily, while from his lips came now and then the 
keen, encouraging sibilation : 

*' Tsst— tsst— tsst— tsst !" 

The driver of the blacks plied the whip. One of them 
broke, and for an instant they passed the bay's quarter 
and lapped his shoulder. The great muzzle went lower, 
the black eyes flashed more wickedly, the great white 
teeth snapped angrily together, and the blacks fell back 
again — past the sleigh ! — a length ! — another ! 

Then the waiting multitude awoke to the fact that 
they had seen a remarkable performance — a wonderful 
horse, who, coming out of obscurity, had distanced at 
the very first trial the best of all known competitors. 
They cheered the big bay and his driver as they flew 
past, and continued cheering until they passed the 
second mile-post and disappeared beyond the limits of 
the drive, going on down the Bay Road toward the 
country. The crowd stared after them in amazement. 
The owners of fancy-steppers walked their smoking 
steeds back and forth and talked of the remarkable 



236 A Soil of Old Harry, 

event. It is not often that an attempted surprise of 
this kind is a success. In these days, the horses that 
can do great things are usually known and named, 
though even now a phenomenon is sometimes found in 
a butcher's cart. At that day such things were much 
less infrequent. The reduction of the best time made 
by a trotting-team from two minutes thirty-six seconds 
to two minutes fourteen seconds makes an amazing dif- 
ference in the conditions of what is termed a " flam " of 
that sort. 

" Who is he ?" asked the driver of the blacks in an 
irritated tone, as he drew in his team at the end of the 
accustomed course. 

*' Ask me something easy," said one whose rig showed 
him to be familiar with such matters. " I thought I 
knew every horse and horseman in these parts, but I 
don't either of them." 

" Better telegraph and find out. Colonel," said 
another, not unwilling to jeer the beaten horseman, 

" Pretty good horse that, Sedley," said the driver of 
the chestnut, who had fallen out of the race as soon as 
he saw the struggle begin with the countryman. 

"Good!" exclaimed Sedley, half-angrily ; "he's the 
best horse that ever struck a hoof on the Bay Road, 
Why, he went away from me as if I were standing still ; 
and the blacks were going at better than a two-forty 
clip, too. It's my opinion the time of that horse hasn't 
been beaten on any track — not often, anyhow." 

" The girl was mighty scared." 

" Scared ? Not much. She was just enjoying it." 

" Well, she'd good reason to ; no other woman ever 
rode two miles in as short time." 

" Who'd have thought that old countryman would 
prove such a Tartar ?" 

" Countryman ! There isn't a better driver than he 



A Surprise Party on the Bay Road. 237 

ever pulled strings on the Bay Road," said Sedley, irrita- 
bly. " It's some professional who has made a guy of 
himself and the girl just to put up a job on us." 

" You must admit he did it well ; sold you out clean 
and fair." 

" So he did," admitted Sedley, with a laugh. 

"Want to try it again. Colonel ?" 

" No ; I'm satisfied. But where'd he get that horse ?" 

" Like to buy him, perhaps ?" 

" That depends. But if he's not too old and is sound, 
he's worth a lot of money." 

" Suppose he was about seven now," said a pleasant- 
faced man with a bit of gray whisker under his chin, 
who stood beside the railing. 

" Seven ? He's fifteen if he's a day," said the driver 
of the chestnut. " I saw him when he came on the 
track." 

" So did I," responded Sedley ; " and when he went 
off, too !" 

" I thought you were out of sight, then !" 

" Oh, no ! I was near enough to see that he wasn't 
half as old as when he came on — and I tell you if that 
horse is under ten and sound, he's worth more than any 
two that ever trotted on the Bay Road." 

'* How much did you give for the blacks, Colonel ?" 
asked one of his friends, quizzingly. 

" No matter ; I stand by what I say." 

The man with the gray whiskers under his chin 
turned away with a smile upon his face, and took his 
seat beside a girl with bright black eyes and glowing 
cheeks who sat in a sleigh a little way oil. 

"Oh, papa!" exclaimed the girl, trembling with 
excitement, " wasn't it splendid !" 

" Don't say a word, Kitty, or I shall explode !" 

Twenty minutes afterward, Farmer Parker drove 



238 A Son of Old Harry. 

into his barn, where Hubert was rubbing down the big 
bay, the whole family, . with Delia added to their num- 
ber, standing by. The story of the race had already 
been told, but Farmer Parker, after throwing himself 
upon a pile of hay and giving vent to his long -repressed 
laughter, had to tell it over again with many interrup- 
tions and much uproarious mirth. 

" You are Miss Kincaid, I suppose ?" said the black- 
eyed girl, approaching Delia and offering her hand. 
" I am Kitty Parker ; Mr. Goodwin is too busy to 
introduce us, but I know all about you, I've ridden 
after Ilenlopen over the Bay Road many a time — after 
dark, you know — and just envied you to-day." 

Delia Kincaid felt an instinctive heart-twinge as she 
gazed at the pretty girl beside her, and wondered if 
there had been any other attraction for her Jack at 
Farmer Parker's besides Henlopen, during the months 
when he had been so assiduous in his attention to his 
favorite. 

Naturally enough the facts in regard to the affair on 
the Bay Road leaked out, and people were greatly 
scandalized that a pupil of the Brainerd Classical Insti- 
tute and a student of the Theological seminary should 
be mixed up in such an escapade. Just what there was 
about the matter to render it discreditable, it would be 
difficult to say ; but the faculties of both institutions 
were greatly disturbed by it. Delia was sharply cen- 
sured for her conduct, despite the fact that the prin- 
cipal of the institute had assented to the masquerade, 
and was informed that her previously immaculate 
record, on which her hope of receiving the first honor 
at commencement depended had received a serious stain. 
Hubert was notified, in terms more vigorous than 
polite, that for the sake of the good name of the insti- 
tution, the principal was compelled to request him to 



A Surprise Party on the Bay Road. 239 

abstain from visiting the institute or communicating 
with any of its inmates in the future. In a letter 
stained with her tears, Delia Kincaid begged him 
for her sake to comply with this harsh request. She 
was still determined to win the first honor of her class. 
" I could not meet my father and mother if I should 
fail of that," she wrote. " They have dreamed of it 
every day since I entered the Institute." 

Hubert was called before the faculty of the seminary 
also, some of the members of which were seriously 
shocked that he manifested no regret for his conduct, 
and refused to admit that it was in any degree repre- 
hensible. Some proposed his expulsion, others his sus- 
pension ; but as he had violated no rule of tbe insti- 
tution, and as his competitors on the Bay Road had 
been Deacon Sedley, one of the most prominent mem- 
bers of the church, and a very liberal patron of the 
seminary, there seemed a sort of inconsistency in dis- 
ciplining the theologian for what was not blamable in 
the deacon. The matter was all the more difficult 
from the fact that the young man's conduct had been 
in other respects irreproachable. He was not at all 
"fast." He had entered the seminary from a sense. of 
duty merely. He did not claim to have either a " call " 
or an inclination for the ministerial profession, but was 
there in fulfillment of a promise made to a dying father. 
The horse was his own, and there seemed to be no good 
reason why he should not use his hours of relaxation to 
enhance the value of his own property. Indeed, the 
president bluntly asserted that it would be ago6d thing 
if some of the other students employed their leisure in 
as healthy and profitable ways. The lady who was 
with him at the time was his promised wife, and the 
harmless masquerade was fully understood and approved 
of by the principal of the school she was attending. 



240 A Son of Old Harry. 

There seemed, indeed, to be " Nothing morally wrong 
about Mr. Goodwin's conduct," the president shrewdly- 
said, in summing up the matter, ** except that his horse 
was a better one than Deacon Sedley's." The presi- 
dent was not only a sagacious man, but liked a good 
horse himself, and facetiously remarked that he did not 
think there would be any serious objections to Mr. 
Goodwin's driving on the Bay Road every Saturday, if 
he took one of the faculty with him now and then. 

When next Henlopen appeared on the Bay Road, 
President Neuman sat beside the driver. There were 
several brushes, and the big bay easily kept the place 
he had won on his debut. 

" What are you going to do with him .?" asked the 
president, as they drove home one day, some weeks 
later, after a very pleasant outing. 

" Sell him." 

" What do you consider him worth ?" 

" That depends upon his record." 

" How fast he will go, you mean ?" 

" Yes ; an official record of time actually made upon a 
public track." 

" He has never been timed, I think you told me ?" 

" Well, he has never made a record." 

" What do you think he will do ?" 

** A good deal better than you have seen him." 

" Have you had any offers for him ?" 

" Colonel Sedley has made a bid for him on condition 
that he beats two twenty-four." 

" Do you think he can do it ?" 

" I would not have accepted it if I had not thought 
so." 

" When will the trial come off .>" 

" Some time in the spring." 

" Will it be public or private ?" 



''The Calir 241 

" Private — for Colonel Sedley's satisfaction only." 

" I should like to see it." 

" You can ; I have a right to have one friend on the 
stand, and you shall be that one, if you like." 

" Well, we will see about it when the time comes," 
laughed the president. 

From that hour Hubert Goodwin felt that he had a 
friend in Dr. Neuman, and there was no lack of interest 
on his part in the studies of the seminary. The princi- 
pal of the Brainerd Institute modified her order of 
exclusion after learning that the young man was so 
staunchly supported by the president, and he visited 
his betrothed once a fortnight during the pleasant 
months that followed, while Destiny was silently shap- 
ing for him the web of an adverse fate. 



CHAPTER X. 

" THE CALL." 



Hubert Goodwin heard at length the "call" for 
which he had waited. In one instant all thought of 
hesitation and indecision vanished. War had broken 
out ! The sound of battle echoed through the Sabbath 
stillness ! The Confederate forces had opened fire on 
Fort Sumter ! At the first thrill which followed, he 
knew that there was an end of doubt. He had found, 
if not his vocation, at least his duty. He would be a 
soldier. He did not stop to ask questions. He solicited 
no one's advice ; he did not need advice. His whole 
nature was aflame. There was no questioning whether 
war were right or wrong. His logic was strangely 



242 A Son of Old Harry. 

elliptical. The defense of the flag — the maintenance of 
the Union — such a cause must be right. Behind it, too, 
was the thought of liberty. The Confederacy repre- 
sented slavery ; that was its corner-stone, one of its cham- 
pions had said, and slavery was wrong — must be 
wrong — so Hubert Goodwin thought, or felt, rather. 

He did not reason very profoundly about the matter. 
He did not know how the question presented itself to 
the Southern man ; perhaps he did not care very 
much. When the moment for action comes, the time 
for argument is past. He did not doubt that the South 
was wrong, any more than they who mustered under 
her banner doubted that she was right. He was ready 
to fight for liberty and union — the union his fathers had 
established and the liberty he had been taught to 
believe the holiest gift of God. He was all the more 
ardent because it was not his own liberty, nor the lib- 
erty of his kindred, but of a despised and feeble race 
who had been for centuries the buffeted foot-ball of 
Fate. The knightly impulse is hidden in every uncor- 
rupted nature, and the love of self-sacrifice lies side by 
side with the love of strife and glory, in every manly 
heart. 

Besides this, Hubert Goodwin came of manful stock. 
The spirit of Theophilus had not diluted the blood of 
Sir Harry. How the mark upon his heel burned at the 
thought of conflict ! The tumult of Naseby and Pres- 
ton Pans was in his veins ! The Puritan would stand 
once more against the cavalier ! New entries in the 
long accounting between right and wrong would be 
made in blood. And he would feel the shock of battle ! 
He knew now it was of this that he had dreamed 
through all the peaceful years of youth. Would war be 
as his fancy had painted it ? No matter ; the worse it 
might be, the better ! His whole nature panted with 



" The Call:' 243 

exultation. He burned to do, to suffer, to achieve, to 
endure — to die if need be ! It was for his country, he 
said — his country and his God ! 

Those upon the other side said the same thing. Two 
moieties of a great people prayed to the same God that 
Sabbath morning — the first of a new epoch — for victory 
— the one with the bells of initial triumph clanging in 
their ears, the other with the presage of a primal defeat 
impending over their prescient consciousness. 

There were hushed tones and solemn faces when the 
students of the seminary met in the chapel that Sabbath 
morning for prayer. These young men, who had dedi- 
cated themselves to the Master's service, were looking, 
awed and trembling, upon the opening scene of one of 
those great passion-plays of history by which the Most 
Holy teaches to the world the highest truths. But 
Hubert Goodwin was content — fliished and silent, but 
peaceful ; one might say happy, but for the seeming 
harshness. Doubt was gone ; duty was clear ; danger 
he did not count. The venerable president, despite the 
agony that rung his own soul, marked the demeanor of 
the young man, in whom he had come to take a peculiar 
interest, with some curiosity. 

" Well, Goodwin," he asked, as he returned the stu- 
dent's greeting and walked beside him along the 
strangely hushed and resonant corridor, " what do you 
think of this ?" 

" I guess I have got my * call,' sir," the young man 
answered, in a tone from which he could not keep back 
the exultation which he felt. 

" Perhaps you are right," said the old man, a faint 
flush rising to his cheeks. As he looked into the flash- 
ing eyes, he wished that he might lay aside the burden 
of years and feel the fervid glow and hot, fierce love of 
peril and adventure which showed in the young face. 



244 ^ •^^^^ ^f ^^^ Harry. 

We are all bom fighters, with the clamor of a thousand 
battle-fields echoing in our ears when the trumpet calls 
to strife. Nevertheless, he counseled prudence ; but the 
young man's lip curled in scorn. 

How war quickens a people's pulses ! Before another 
day had elapsed the streets were echoing with the tread 
of mustering legions. Hubert Goodwin did not believe 
it was to be a holiday excursion, and felt that he must 
bid adieu to his old life before he began a new one. He 
must write to his mother ; wait until he had heard from 
his uncle ; say good-bye to his sweetheart, and conclude 
the sale of his horse. It would not require many days, 
but his heart ached when he saw the first company 
rushed on board the cars and hurried away to receive 
their equipments and fly to the defense of the beleagured 
capital. 

Those were busy days. How full of life ! Years were 
crowded betwixt sun and sun. Yet he did nothing. 
The dust gathered on his books. He could not listen to 
lectures. He did not study ; he did not think. He only 
tramped the streets and felt. Once he went to the 
Brainerd Institute. Delia was trembling, fearful, awed. 
They talked of commonplaces ; wondered if there would 
be war. He said nothing of himself, and she intimated 
nothing of what she feared . He wrote to his mother a 
brief, unsatisfactory letter, not to ask her permission, 
but to announce his determination. He knew the letter 
had been received, for a telegram had come from his 
uncle : 

" Hold on ; do nothing until you hear from me again." 

What did it mean ? Did they think to keep him until 
the war was over ? If it were to be so brief he did not 
care to go ; but believing it to be long, he was all the 



" The Call." 245 

more anxious to begin to do his part. He had heard the 
*^ call " and was ready to answer. He wondered what 
his father would have said could he have foreseen this 
time. He did not question what he would say if alive. 

He met Sedley one day upon the street . The colonel 
was very busy. He had been in the army in his young 
days — was a graduate of West Point. He was hardly 
too old for the service, but the demands of a great busi- 
ness prevented him from going to the front at once. But 
he gave his time to the work of organizing — time and 
money. 

" 1 cannot go," he said to Hubert ; ** at least not yet. 
It would take months to get my business in shape to 
leave it. If it keeps on, I shall have to go, I suppose . 
Doctor Neuman tells me you intend to enlist. There 
will be no difficulty in your getting a commission, I 
suppose ?" 
; Hubert said he did not expect one. 

" But you ought to have one. It is such men as you, 
young, intelligent, resolute, who ought to constitute the 
subalterns of our army. You think you have not 
experience ? You will get it fast enough. The field- 
officers should have experience, of course — old army 
men, so far as we can get them; but young men, 
enthusiastic, clear-headed, ambitious, should have the 
companies. That's my idea — no politicians — no drones. 

" I have just applied for permission to raise a cavalry 
regiment — myself and a few others — at our own expense, 
you know. You see, there is no cavalry called for — 
only infantry and artillery. It is all folly. An army 
without cavalry is blind and deaf. It cannot help but 
meet defeat, because its commander knows nothing 
about where he is going or what he has to meet. I used 
to be in the cavalry — the dragoons, you know. JeflE 
Davis had a troop in the same regiment ; that was before 



246 A Son of Old Harry. 

my time, though. I've picked out a man to command 
it — an old West Pointer ; best man in my class, though 
he hasn't got on very well — so far as rank is concerned. 
No chance for a man to show himself in our army, except 
with the Indians, and that don't count. 

" How about our trade ? Woodrow tells me the horse 
is as sound as a nut and in prime condition. Under 
seven, too, he says, though I'd swear he was twelve, at 
least. Thinks he'll fill the bill, too, but I don't. There 
aren't two horses in the country that can reliably trot 
under two twenty-four. The little mare is said to have 
beat twenty somewhere out West last year ; but that 
was a scratch. There's talk about the track being short, 
too. She's a marvel, anyhow, but she'll never do it 
again. The war will spoil sport, of course, but if the 
bay can come to time he's worth the money, war or no 
war. 

** When can we have the trial ? Any time ? How'll 
to-morrow afternoon do — say about four o'clock — if it's 
fair ? All right ! That's settled, then. O, by the way, 
who's your man ? Doctor Neuman ? All right again ; 
no harm in it, as there is to be no betting in it and no 
record. By the way, I'd like to have it understood that 
the time is to be a secret ; if he wins, that is. If he 
loses, of course you don't want it known. Woodrow's 
as silent as the grave. You might caution the doctor. 
I suppose you'll drive yourself ?" 

*' I'd rather Woodrow did, sir." 

" Well, that's satisfactory. He'll do the fair thing. 
Nobody ever accused him of any crookedness. I'll take 
Jones ; he's the regular * starter,' anyhow, and knows 
how to keep still." 

When Hubert returned to his room, after this con- 
versation, he found a dispatch from his uncle awaiting 
him : 



" The Caliy 247 

" Don't join elsewhere. The governor will send you 
a commission as lieutenant." 

It was a complete surprise. A lieutenant ! It was 
an honor, a privilege greater than he had expected. 
He was glad he had talked with Colonel Sedley. He 
showed the dispatch to Doctor Neuman as they drove 
out to the course next day. 

Colonel Sedley was late, owing to numerous and 
exacting engagements. The president was full of the 
new honor that had been conferred upon his pupil, and 
lost no time in mentioning it. The colonel congratu- 
lated the young man heartily. 

It was a warm spring afternoon. Woodrow announced 
the track to be in fine order. Watches were compared 
as the big bay was jogged back and forth and finally 
given a breather around the course. The little group 
of men upon the judge's stand commented upon his 
action and jested about the result. A few spectators 
strolled in and watched the proceedings curiously. A 
group of boys, with the gamin's instinct for the unusual, 
clambered about the empty benches. 

" When do you expect to leave. Lieutenant ?" asked 
Sedley, to pass the time while they waited. Already 
the war filled all the intervals of life. 

Hubert flushed at this first sound of the new title on 
another's lips, but answered as quietly as he could : 

" As soon as my commission arrives." 

" That's right. Better have your uniform made while 
you wait. It's well to be ready for duty when you 
report ; makes a good impression on your superiors, you 
know. I brought a check so that our matter can be 
settled up in a second, if the horse comes under the 
wire in time. I'm satisfied as to his age and soundness. 
Here it is, doctor. I put it in your hands. If he makes 



248 A Son of Old Harry. 

a mile in two twenty-four you will give that check to the 
lieutenant and I will take the horse. Here they come ! 
Heavens, what a stride !" 

The big bay was coming down the home-stretch with 
an even, steady stroke which fully justified the admira- 
tion of the prospective purchaser. As they neared the 
wire Woodrow nodded to the starter, and just as the 
dark muzzle lapped the mark Jones shouted " Go !" 
Three pairs of eyes noted the time, and were lifted now 
and then to watch the progress made. 

"The fastest half ever made without a break !" said 
Jones, as they passed the stand again. The others 
stood silent in admiration and expectancy. The seconds 
crept by, and the horse entered on the last quarter. 

" A great performance !" whispered Sedley, excitedly, 
to the starter. 

" Pity it will not be a record," was the regretful reply. 

" Time enough for that," said the buyer, contentedly, 

Down the homestretch came Henlopen, swifter than 
before. The driver urged him, but he did not break. 
Under the wire he flashed as if shot from a catapult. 

Three fingers touched the springs, and the starter, 
pale with excitement, whispered the time. 

" Gentlemen," called out Woodrow from the track 
below as he turned back and walked beside the steam- 
ing horse to the stand, " that's the fastest mile I ever 
rode !" 

" And the fastest anybody ever rode !" said Jones, 
excitedly. 

" What !" 

The veteran driver tossed the reins to an attendant, 
scrambled over the railing, and ran up the steps into 
the stand. 

" What was the time ?" he asked. 



" The Calir 24^ 

The gamins and the few spectators were gathering 
around, eager to learn the result. 

" Take care," whispered Sedley, with a glance toward 
these seekers for knowledge. 

The starter whispered to the driver. 

" What ! It can't be ! Why wasn't it a record ?" 

" Never mind ; you shall drive him when he beats 
it," Sedley hastened to say. 

" He'll never beat it, Colonel," said the old horseman, 
sadly. " No horse ever will. And nobody would 
believe it if you told it. Oh, if it had only been a 
record !" 

" Will you please let us know the time ?" called out 
one of a group of spectators, who were discussing the 
performance a little way off. 

" It was under two twenty-four," answered Sedley 
evasively, 

" Thank you. My friend, here," pointing to one who 
held a watch in his hand, ** has been oflEering to bet that 
it was under two-ten, but, of course, we knew that 
could not be." 

"O Lord, if it had only been a record !" moaned 
Woodrow. " It would be worth everything to be able 
to tell of that, and have it official, you know. I'd 
have it put on my tombstone — I would I vow !" 

" I suppose I'm to give this to Mr. Goodwin, then ?" said 
Doctor Neuman, holding up the check inquiringly. 

" Certainly. Haven't you delivered it yet ? Give it 
to him, quick, before he backs out," said Sedley glee- 
fully. " I'm sorry for you. Lieutenant," he added, as 
Hubert took the bit of paper, " but that horse is 
worth double the money I paid for him, this very 
minute." 

" Not a doubt of it," interrupted Jones. 

Doctor Neuman looked from one to the other, won- 



250 A Son of Old Harry. 

dering-ly. "Do you know, gentlemen," he said, with 
impressive simplicity, "that check represents more 
money than I ever earned in ten years." 

Hubert Goodwin felt very rich as he folded the check 
and put it in his pocket. There was more conversation, 
reminiscent and speculative. Other horses were dis- 
cussed, and the career of the new marvel — what horses 
he would have to meet and what events he might be 
entered for. The sun was getting low when they 
started to go down the stairs. It had been a very excit- 
ing affair, and each one congratulated himself upon his 
good fortune in having witnessed the race. 

The attendant who had been walking Henlopen up 
and down the track, now called to Woodrow, The 
driver climbed down from the stand and approached the 
horse's head, where the attendant was standing. The 
loiterers had moved away, and the little company fol- 
lowed slowly, going around the end of the stand. 

" Mr. Sedley, will you please step here a moment ?" 

There was no mistaking the anxiety in Woodrow's 
voice. They walked quickly down the track to where 
he stood. With his left hand he lifted up the great 
brown muzzle, while with the right one he drew back 
the inflexible cap of the left nostril, showing the red, 
glistening membrane within. 

** What is it ?" asked Sedley, looking down at the dark 
spot on the track under the horse's head. 

" Do you see that ?" said Woodrow, nodding toward 
the horse's nose. 

A little red stream was trickling down the membrane 
and through the stiff short hairs of the upper lip. Hen- 
lopen thrust out his tongue now and then to lick off the 
falling drops. While they looked he shook his head and 
coughed, scattering bright fresh blood drops upon them. 



" The Cair 251 

** Hemorrhage ?" inquired Sedley, 

Woodrow nodded affirmatively. 

" When did it come on ?" Sedley asked the attendant. 

"Just a minute ago," was the reply. " I gave him a 
sup of water. He coughed, and then I noticed this." 

" Might have been bleeding for half an hour, I sup- 
pose." 

** No, sir. We have sponged his nose and mouth three 
or four times since the heat was over, and there wasn't 
a trace of blood till that moment." 

** Any chance for him ?" to Woodrow. 

The trainer shook his head sadly : 

" It is red blood, you observe." 

He wiped his hands upon the horse's mane as he 
spoke. 

** I see — an artery." 

Woodrow signed to the attendant to remove the sulky 
and harness. Hubert placed his ear at the horse's chest. 
He heard a curious gurgling sound. 

" Poor old fellow !" he said, putting his arm over the 
drooping neck and caressing tenderly the broad fore- 
head. The horse gave a low neigh of recognition and 
coughed again. Instantly a red stream burst from his 
nostrils. He raised his head and gazed from one to 
another with an almost human look of startled inquiry. 
All the little company, except Hubert, sprang back to 
avoid the red torrent that spouted from the black, 
quivering muzzle. 

" Poor fellow !" said Hubert again, still clasping the 
neck and patting the upraised head. With a sharp 
neigh of alarm, the horse rubbed the side of his head 
against the young man's breast, as if begging for aid. 
His breath came chokingly. His mouth opened, and 
the blood gushed from it also. ^His neighing became 
one choking shriek for help. He kept turning toward 



252 A Son of Old Harry. 

his master, as if imploring him to give relief. The great 
brown eyes were full of agonized entreaty. Hubert 
moved backward to avoid the stream of blood, still hold- 
ing the neck, stroking the outstretched head, and speak- 
ing tenderly to the doomed beast. 

His voice choked, and there were tears in his eyes. 
The others wept, too — all but Sedley. He stood dry- 
eyed, indeed, but with his firm jaws set and a look upon 
his face that attested the emotion which he felt. Wheel- 
ing round and round in the vain endeavor to confront 
the one whom he had learned to love and to whom he 
turned instinctively in mute entreaty for aid, the stream- 
ing blood from the horse's mouth described a red circle 
partly on the white graveled track and partly on the 
fresh-springing grass beside it. He moved slower and 
slower every moment, while his neighing sank at length 
to a faint moan. He began to paw, but only with his 
off -foot, as if even in death he remembered not to harm 
the master he loved. A shiver went through his limbs. 
His body swayed back and forth. 

" Look out !" cried Woodrow. 

Hubert did not heed this warning, but kept his clasp 
upon the quivering neck and strove to hold up the 
drooping head. There was a long, low moan of mortal 
agony ; the head was turned suddenly, the great nostrils 
distended ; the brown eyes looked into the brimming 
ones beside them. The trembling limbs slowly gave 
way and the vast hulk sank slowly and easily to the; 
ground. Hubert laid the brown head tenderly upon the; 
green turf — there was a sob — a tremor of the mighty- 
limbs, and the great horse was dead. 

Hubert rose and brushed the blood from the sleeve 
of his coat, turning shamefacedly away to hide his tears. 
The others regarded him with that kindly commisera- 



" The Calir 253 

tion we bestow upon those who stand by the death-bed 
of friends. 

" He was a good one," said Woodrow, speaking of the 
dead. It was the highest praise the old trainer could 
give. 

** He deserves a monument," said Sedley, " and he 
shall have one, too — right here beside the track where 
he died." 

Hubert answered with a grateful look. He could not 
trust his voice. The great, homely bay had grown 
much dearer to him than he thought. He recalled his 
virtues, which had been regarded as a matter of course 
while he lived — his steadiness, kindness and sagacity, 
as well as his amazing fortitude and determination. 

" ' We ne'er shall look upon his like again,' " said 
Jones, with an attempt at levity. 

" It is strange," said Doctor Neuman, solemnly. " He 
seemed to know his end was approaching almost as well 
as if he had been human." 

Hubert walked back toward the stand to conceal his 
emotion. The others stood a moment in the soft, spring 
sunset gazing on the stifiFening limbs of the great horse 
who had died in the very hour when he had outdone all 
his race, but whose name would never appear among 
the list of those who have triumphed on the track which 
was moistened with his blood. Then they started 
toward the sheds where their horses stood. 

" Well, Lieutenant," said Sedley, cheerfully, as they 
overtook the young man, who walked on with them, 
" I'm sorry now we didn't let the big horse make a 
record. It seems that you were the one that was in 
luck, after all ; though I did think I w^as getting him 
cheap. There are not many who win on such a narrow 
margin as that." 

He gazed keenly at the young man as he spoke. 



254 ^ ^011 of Old Ha7'7y. 

"I hope you do not think — " began Hubert, con- 
fusedly. 

" Oh, that's all right," interrupted Sedley, *' He's my 
horse just as much as if he had died of old age. He 
was worth the money when I bought him, and more, 
too. All the same, you are lucky. The doctor here, 
don't believe in luck ; I do. It's worth everything to a 
man in this world, too. Some have it and others don't ; 
and some have it for a time and then lose it. Some win 
with all the chances against them — against their own 
expectations even ; others will lose with ninety -nine 
clear chances in their favor, though they exercise the 
utmost prudence and caution. There's no accounting 
for luck ; and you've got it, no mistake about that. 
You'd have been expelled from the seminary for your 
escapade last winter if it hadn't been for your luck. 
Instead of that, here's the doctor come with you to see 
you win on a dead horse. He would have expelled 
any one else for proposing such a thing. From what 
he tells me I find it isn't the first time your luck has 
served you well. There's nothing like it, and there's 
no sense in trying to give any reason for it, I don't 
blame you ; I just envy you, I'm probably better able 
to lose what I paid than you the price of an ordinary 
horse, I've had pretty fair luck myself, but I envy 
yours. You are not only lucky, but every one believes 
in your luck — expects you to succeed, don't you see. 
Be grateful for it, young man, but don't abuse it. Let 
it cover mistakes, but don't strain it by advertising for 
impossibilities. If you ever want a partner — especially 
in anything connected with a horse — just let me know. 
I'd stake a good deal on your judgment, and a lot more 
on your luck. Good-bye. I expect to see you come out 
of the war with a star on your shoulder, It's a great 
chance for a man with your luck," 



" The Calir 255 

" Mr. Sedley — I — I wish you would take this back," 
said Hubert, taking the check from his pocket. 

" Young man," responded the sturdy capitaHst, with 
some show of anger, " don't be foolish. More people 
spoil their luck in that way than in any other. Take 
what belongs to you without stopping to consider 
whether the man who loses is sorry he risked or not. If 
the horse had lived, I should have doubled my money 
and not given a thought to the chance you lost. The 
money is yours ; do what you choose with it, but don't 
think of returning it to me. That is not only folly, it is 
almost an insult. There is one thing you can do to 
oblige me : keep the matter still for the present — the 
time he made, I mean. I don't care to have people 
pitying me. Come on, Jones." 

The colonel strode stiffly away without further adieu. 

It was a very silent ride back over the paved streets in 
the echoing twilight, to Doctor Neuman and his pupil. 
The day's experience had been a rare one to the good 
divine. He had seen a side of life with which he had 
no little sympathy, but at which he could not but 
wonder. He was not only fond of a good horse, but he 
liked also brave, adventurous men — men who could win 
or lose with equanimity. He had always wanted to see 
a race, but regard for his profession had kept him 
away from the track ; and now he had witnessed an 
event sure to be among the most memorable in the 
annals of the turf, though it would be but a tradition — 
a tradition like that of Flying Childer's yet unrivaled 
achievement. Only half a dozen pairs of eyes, it is said, 
watched that marvel of equine tradition. One of them, 
he had read somewhere, belonged to a dignitary of the 
church. For a hundred years nobody doubted the 
great racer's achievement, or, at least, dared express a 



256 A Son of Old Harjy. 

doubt. Since then nobody has believed it. Would 
it be the same with the marvel he had witnessed ? 

He had been taught that day to use a stop-watch. 
He had held one of the three by which the time was 
marked. They all agreed within a fraction of a second. 
He had held his up for examination by the others 
before reading the result himself. He had seen both 
the others. Had his eyes deceived him, and his hand 
also ? He was glad he had witnessed the trial, and glad, 
also, that the result was to be kept secret. His con- 
science was easy, too. There had been no betting ; not 
a cent had been staked on the result. Yet the young 
man beside him had been, if not exactly poor, at the 
least not rich when they went out ; now he had a 
fortune in his pocket. Was this quite a true statement of 
the case ? When they went out, the young man was 
the owner of the most valuable horse in the world ; the 
check in his pocket was not more than half as much as 
the best judges declared the horse to be worth. He 
had not made a very good sale, after all, though the 
buyer had nothing to show for his money. The good 
doctor mentioned this view of the matter to the young 
man beside him, who answered with a curious incred- 
ulity of tone which set the elder man to wondering 
what his future would be like — what he would do with 
the money he had received or what it would do with 
him. 

"^Will you let me come into the library a moment, 
doctor ?" Hubert asked, as they stopped before the 
gate. 

" Certainly. Will you not stay to supper with us ? 
It must be ready now." 

" Thank you ; I don't think I can — to-night, I will 
only detain you a moment." 

He fastened the horse and they walked up the path 



" The Calir 257 

together, the elder wondering at the younger man's 
request. Ushering him into the library, he renewed 
his invitation ; but the other persisted in declining it. 
Asking permission, he seated himself at the writing- 
table, dropping his hat upon the floor beside him, and 
taking the check from his pocket, he indorsed it to the 
other's order. 

" Please use it to help equip the regiment Sedley is 
raising," he said, raising and handing it to the other. 

The doctor put on his glasses, and read the indorse- 
ment. 

"But — ^had you not better wait and — think this 
over .?" 

The young man smiled. 

The doctor knew it was useless to give advice, but 
could not help saying : 

** This is a great deal ; you are not rich. Can you 
afford to give so much for — for such a purpose ?" 

" But, doctor, I have already offered my life for the 
cause it will aid." 

" True, true, my son," answered the old man. " May 
God bless you and your gift." 

He raised his eyes as he spoke. The young man 
looked down and twirled his hat in an embarrassed way. 
Then he stretched out his hand. 

" Good-bye," he said. 

" We shall see you again ?" 

" I am afraid not ; I expect to go to-morrow." 

" So soon ? Write me when you can, I have no 
doubt I shall hear of your success without it, but shall 
be glad to receive your own report. Good-bye." 

When he was gone, the doctor spread out the check 
and read it again before putting it in his pocket. 

"Come," said his wife, from the door, " you know you 
are expected at the meeting to-night." 



258 A Son of Old Harry. 

" Meeting ? What meeting ?" 

" Why, about the regiment Colonel Sedley is raising." 

" Ah, yes ; I had forgotten." 

The wife smiled. She had been her husband's calen- 
dar for years, and was not surprised at his absent- 
mindedness during the meal which followed. 



" So Henlopen will never make a record," was 
Hubert Goodwin's regretful comment, as he told the 
story of the day's happenings to Delia Kincaid that 
night, and informed her of the disposition he had made 
of the check. 

" And you gave all that money — to — to — " 

" The country," he interrupted, laughingly. " Why 
not ? I may have to give — a great deal more, you 
know." 

The girl shuddered and her cheeks grew pale. 

" Don't you think this is enough — as much as you 
ought to do ?" 

" Why, Dee ! You wouldn't have me stay at home ?" 

"Oh, Jack, if you only would! Please do! Let us 
go away — let's go abroad, where we will know nothing 
of this dreadful war. We might be married and go to- 
morrow. I will give up the school — anything — if you 
will. O, Jack ! I know I shall lose you ! There will 
never be any happiness for me in the world if you go. 
You know you promised me, Jack, * Forever and ever. 
Amen !' And now you are going away to be shot — to 
be killed ! You are breaking your promise ! You do 
not love me — if you go !" 

** Forever and ever. Amen !" What visions the words 
recalled. All his life he had loved this girl — this 
woman — who now would persuade him to turn back 



" The Caliy 259 

from his duty — to be deaf to the " call " he had 
received. " Forever and ever, Amen !" The sun shone 
through the sheltering leaves, and the sounds of the 
summer woods were about him again. He heard the 
droning of the wasps, and saw again their nests of tem- 
pered mortar beside the rafters in the old home which 
was then new. And now she offered him her beauty as 
the price for his manhood ! His brain reeled. 

" But, Dee — " he exclaimed, confusedly, entreatingly. 

She broke in passionately, angrily, on his remon- 
strance : 

" Don't talk to me ! What do I care for the country ? 
I want you. And you promised me ; you know you did, 
I know I am not brave. I am tired and sick. I want 
to go away — to Italy — Switzerland — Venice ! O, Jack, 
why can't we go to Venice and dream away the days of 
strife ? Everybody is not called upon to fight, and you 
have done enough. They can get a hundred men with 
what you have given." 

" I suppose they might — " thoughtfully. 

" Of course they can — and we !" 

She nestled close to him with rapturous suggestion. 

" But every one would call me a coward — " 

" Suppose they should ?" 

" I don't think I could stand that, Dee." 

" But it wouldn't be you — not your wish, that is, but 
mine. You could tell them I was sick. And I am sick, 
Jack — oh, so sick ! You don't know how sick !" 

She cast herself upon his breast weeping passionately. 
He smoothed her silken curls with a loving hand, and 
soothed her, hardly knowing what he did. At length 
his face lightened. 

" Dee," he exclaimed, eagerly, "I think you are sick ; 
you have been studying too hard. Why not get 
married, anyhow ?" 



26o A Son of Old Harry. 

" And then ?" She did not raise her head, 

" You can go with me ; officers often take their wives. 
It will probably be a good while before there is any 
fighting — before they are ready to fight, I mean." 

** No ! No ! No !" She shook her head and shud- 
dered. " I can't do it ! I can't do it ! I can't tell you 
why, either. Only go away — leave the country — and I 
will go with you to-morrow — to-night — this very 
minute !" 

She raised her head and looked at him with almost 
frantic appall. 

*■' And Jack," she continued, " if you do not, you will 
lose me — we shall lose each other — forever and ever !" 

** You would not forget me, Dee ?" 

" I shall love you always. Jack, always — but — but if 
you do not consent — oh, I cannot tell you ! We shall 
never be happy again." 

" Poor little girl," he said, soothingly ; " you are tired 
to-night. It will seem different to-morrow." 

She shook her head, hopelessly. 

" Oh, yes, it will ; you are nervous and worn-out 
to-night. I shall tell Miss Brainerd you need a rest, 
and take you home with me." 

" Home !" with a start. " When are you going there ?" 

"O, in a day or two." 

" And you will not go away — with me .?" 

" Abroad, do you mean ?" 

She nodded. 

" I will — think about it. There's the bell ; I must go." 

The bell of the Brainerd Institute rang at nine o'clock 
for the departure of guests, if any chanced to be within 
its portals at that hour. They were sitting in the private 
parlor of the principal — a privilege accorded to but few. 
They knew that lady would enter soon. Delia started 



" The Callr 261 

up, hastily smoothing her hair. Her lover caught her 
in his arms and kissed her passionately 

" You will go ? " she entreated, 

" O — do not ask me. I cannot promise — ^just now — at 
least." 

" Then — good-bye !" 

She stood on tiptoe, her pale, agonized face upturned 
for his kisses. 

" O, Jack — dear Jack ! Remember, whatever happens 
— I shall love you * forever and ever !' " 

There was a knock upon the door. 

"I am very sorry to disturb you, young people," said 
the kindly-faced principal, "but the bell has rung. 
Why, what does this mean ?" as the young girl threw 
herself upon her teacher's breast, weeping hysterically. 
** No lover's quarrel, I hope ?" 

" She dreads to have me go — into the service — you 
know,"answered Hubert, stammeringly. 

" Poor girl !" said the lady, tenderly patting her pupil's 
head. '* That is part of our woman's lot — to lose those 
we love." 

- There was a far-away look in her eyes as she spoke, 
Hubert bowed himself out, and went back to his lodg- 
ing with a burdened heart. He found the uniform he 
had ordered awaiting him and tried it on. The new life 
it represented quickly chased away the memory of love's 
tears. 



CHAPTER XI. 



OLD HARRY S LUCK. 



The newspapers of the day succeeding Henl open's 
death contained a curious account of that eve at. The 
world of sport was not what it is now, nor was the reporter 
so absolutely ubiquitous. Not only this, but one great 
central thought then occupied the public mind, and 
other events had a singular fictitious value according to 
their relation to it. The most remote connection with 
the conflict which was then impending, rather than 
actually begun, lifted the most trivial matters in th^ 
realm of news to a plane of prime importance as com- 
pared with matters having no relation to it. Wrecks, 
accidents, the death of sovereigns, the opening of new 
gold fields, even scandal fell to a second place in public 
estimation in comparison with things relating to the 
progress of the war. It is not strange that the death of 
Henlopen, an event which would now command univer- 
sal attention, was then regarded as worthy of mention 
chiefly because of the circumstances connected with 
it. These, however, gave it a place on the editorial 
page, where it appeared the next morning, under the 
title of 



Old Harry's Luck. 263 



"A MANLY ACT PROMPTLY REWARDED. 

** We noted in our issue of yesterday that one of the 
students of the Theological Seminary had been com- 
missioned a lieutenant. To-day, it is our privilege to 
record an act of chivalrous generosity on the part of 
Lieutenant Goodwin, which shows that the governor of 
his native State made no mistake in conferring upon 
him that honor. He is known to many of our citi- 
zens as having been the owner of the trotting-horse, 
Henlopen, which played such havoc among the crack 
turnouts on the Bay Road last winter. At that time an 
offer of twenty-five thousand dollars was made for the 
horse by Colonel Sedley, on condition that he should 
beat two twenty-four. This was accepted, and the big 
horse has been in training with Woodrow ever since for 
his match against time. It came off yesterday on the 
Park Course. It was a private affair, only half a dozen 
friends being present, and they were sworn to secrecy. 
The price is said to be the largest, with one exception, 
perhaps, ever offered for a horse in the United States ; 
yet it is generally admitted that if able to make the time 
required, the big bay was well worth it. Woodrow held 
the reins, and expressed the opinion that the horse 
could do all that was asked of him, and more too. 

" It was nearly five o'clock when he got the word, and 
those present witnessed a performance they will not 
soon forget. The mile was trotted without a break. 
The exact time cannot be given, but it is ascertained 
that it was several seconds less than has ever been 
done before or than most horsemen supposed possible. 
The horse finished the heat in prime condition, and Mr. 
Sedley handed over the check for the amount agreed on 
with the utmost cheerfulness. 

" Shortly afterward, as the party were leaving the 



264 A Son of Old Harry. 

grounds, they were called back to witness the death of 
the noble animal which had just won such distinguished 
honor. While being walked about to cool off, he was 
startled by a dog which attempted to run across the 
track, and took three or four of his enormous strides 
before the driver could bring him down. A moment 
afterward, it was found that he had burst a blood -vessel, 
and in a short time he was dead. 

" No doubt Colonel Sedley felt some chagrin at 
having only a dead horse to show for his money, but 
those who know him do not need to be told that he 
evinced none. It was an ordinary business risk, and 
he had lost ; that is the way he looked at it. Lieutenant 
Goodwin, however, refused to retain the price paid for 
the horse, and handed the check to President Neuman 
with a request that the money be applied to the equip- 
ment of the regiment of cavalry which Colonel Sedley 
proposes to raise. The colonel received it on his way 
to the meeting reported elsewhere, to consider whether 
our citizens should not join with him in tendering the 
government a regiment of cavalry, armed, uniformed 
and mounted ready for the field. 

'* Colonel Sedley repeated at this meeting his propo- 
sition to give $100,000 for the purpose indicated. He 
understood, he said, that the government had a suffi- 
cient supply of sabers of good quality, and he believed 
the sum named would furnish the uniforms and com- 
plete the equipment of the men. He thought it would 
require $200,000 more to provide the mount and general 
equipment. As a first subscription toward this, he had 
received, he said, the sum of $25,000 from a young man 
who probably had not as much more in the world ; per- 
haps not half as much ; and who, in addition to this, had 
already offered his services, and was ready to give his 



Old Harry^s Luck, 265 

life, if need be, for his country — Lieutenant Hubert 
Goodwin, of the Theological Seminary. 

"After the applause which greeted this announce- 
ment had died away, he stated in response to calls for 
Goodwin, that the lieutenant was not present and knew 
nothing of what was taking place. He had sent a check 
for the sum named, by Doctor Neuman, whom he had 
authorized to apply it in this manner. He was, prob- 
ably, at that moment making preparations to leave the 
city, to join his regiment. 

" This statement aroused the wildest enthusiasm. It 
was immediately voted to raise the sum required, and 
subscriptions for the full amount, with pledges for as 
much more, if necessary, were made in a few minutes. 
Colonel Sedley stated that a distinguished officer of the 
regular Army had signified a willingness to accept the 
command of the regiment, and moved that the meeting 
request the President to detail him for that duty. 

" When this had been adopted, the venerable Doctor 
Neuman arose, and in a speech of unusual eloquence 
told the story of young Goodwin's life, and moved that 
the President be requested to appoint him the lieuten- 
ant-colonel of the regiment. The proposition took like 
wildfire, and Doctor Neuman 's speech was punctuated 
with applause. It seems that the young man has not 
only fighting blood in his veins, but, so to speak, cav- 
alry blood, also. A distinguished cavalry officer of 
Cromwell's army and a captain of dragoons who fell at 
Trenton, were among his ancestors, and the doctor pre- 
dicted for him a biilliant future. 

" Colonel Sedley seconded the motion in the most 
earnest and emphatic terms. As one having some 
knowledge of the requirements of the office, he did 
not hesitate to indorse the doctor's prediction. 

"One of Goodwin's classmates pledged himself to 



266 A So7i of Old Harry 

raise a company and go with them himself, if Goodwin 
received the appointment. There was no dissent, and 
the proposition was carried with a rush. Colonel Sedley 
was directed to telegraph the President requesting 
immediate action in the matter. It was proposed to 
call the regiment the ' Sedley Legion,' and, despite the 
colonel's demurrer, the suggestion was unanimously 
adopted, and we have no doubt the corps will be an 
honor to the city and the State, as well as to the patri- 
otic citizen whose name it bears. Only the best men 
will be accepted, and service in its ranks will be an 
honor any man might covet. 

" After the adjournment, it was proposed to serenade 
the young colonel. The crowd formed in line and 
marched to the seminary building, the band leading 
the way. The young man had just donned his lieuten- 
ant's uniform, and his astonishment as he listened to 
Colonel Sedley *s statement of what had occurred showed 
how little he had expected any such recognition of his 
generous act He was hustled down to make his 
acknowledgment to the crowd, which he did, or rather 
tried to do. If his words were somewhat incoherent, 
the applause was vociferous. He is not a man of strik- 
ing appearance, but there was something in his 
demeanor, as he shook hands with this clamorous com- 
pany of new-found friends, which satisfied every one 
that no mistake had been made in selecting him for 
such a responsible position. The Sedley Legion are 
sure to be proud of the second in command before the 
war is over. It is expected that Colonel Craft will 
report for duty in about a week. In the meantime, 
recruiting will proceed under charge of Colonel Goodwin 
at the Sedley Block, the large hall of which will be 
used for drilling." 



Old Harry'' s Luck. 267 

It is strange how things were done in that first fever 
heat of war ! The next day was a wild one for Hubert 
Goodwin ; so were those that followed. He was no 
longer his own master, but the slave of his good for- 
tune — the servant of the regiment. It was not that 
he had so much to do ; Sedley and his committee, with 
a hundred other willing helpers, did much of the work ; 
but he had to seem to direct, to approve, to encourage 
to suggest. It was a strange task for one so inexperi- 
enced. Fortunately, he had Sedley at his elbow, more 
fortunately still, others were as inexperienced as him- 
self. A uniform went for a great deal ; a title was 
a badge of authority then. Courtesy in hearing and 
promptness in deciding were the chief qualities that 
were necessary in his new field of duty, and these he had. 

He learned afterward that if he had been a trained 
soldier he probably would not have succeeded as well as 
he did in his new role. He would not then have dared 
attempt what he did not now hesitate to undertake. The 
new uniform, no longer suitable to his rank, did service 
with its one row of buttons just as well as if there had 
been two. He worked night and day, and at high pres- 
sure all the time. Everybody wondered at his success. 
He wondered himself more than any one else. He knew 
that the days seemed years, but he felt that the " call " 
for which he had been waiting had come — he had found 
what there was for him to do. 

Saturday came, and with it the colonel ; a sturdy, 
chestnut-bearded man, beginning to show gray threads 
among his close-cropped hair. Hubert was ready to 
report. Seven troops were complete, the others nearly 
so ; the ranks of the Legion would be full before Mon- 
day night. Sedley reported that he would have the 
camp ready by Wednesday. It was to be on the race- 
course where Henlopen was buried. 



268 A So7i of Old Harry. 

The colonel commended what had been done. He 
wondered, indeed, that so much had been accomplished 
in so short a time. It is not strange. The civilian 
always excels the soldier in the preliminary work of 
organization ; he is not hampered by habitual fear of 
disapproval. But the time was ripe for the military 
mind to assume control. There were men enough ; they 
must be transformed into soldiers. Drill, discipline, 
subordination, confidence in things unseen, these things 
must be taught the ardent recruits. The colonel's 
eyes flashed with pleasant anticipation as he contem- 
plated the task. H*e' had hardly expected ever to 
hold so important a command. A regiment of cavalry ! 
It had been the dream of his life ! He would make it 
the best in the service. Sedley promised that he would 
attend to the equipment, and Hubert rejoiced at an 
opportunity to learn the duties of his new station under 
one of the brightest examples the time afforded. It was 
with a sigh of relief that he laid aside the responsibility 
of command and assumed the station of a subordinate. 

Relieved of the burdens which had been so suddenly 
cast upon him, Hubert Goodwin returned to his old 
room in the seminary building to take a final leave of 
his old life. He had not visited it for a whole week. It 
seemed as if a lifetime had elapsed since he crossed its 
threshold. How shrunken and unfamiliar it looked — as 
if he had gone back into some other state of existence ! 
A heap of letters lay upon the table. He smiled as he 
thought of the contrast with the formidable official mis- 
sives to which he had become accustomed during those 
eventful days. It was curious that what he had done 
appeared as nothing to him now, yet a week before it 
would have seemed impossible. He did not feel tired 
exactly ; he felt old. He was a new man ; the one who 



Old Harry's Luck. 269 

had occupied that room a week before was dead — ^buried 
under a new life. 

He had not forgotten the old life, however. Every 
day he had sent a brief note to Delia, telling how hurried 
he was, and promising to come and see her on Saturday. 
And now Saturday was here, and he suddenly remem- 
bered that he had neither seen her nor heard anything 
from her. What did it mean ? Many ladies had called 
at the headquarters. Even Kitty Parker had come ta 
congratulate him on his new title, and condole with him 
on the sad fate of Henlopen. It was strange she had 
not written. He had not thought she would carry her 
opposition to his enlistment to such lengths. He would 
soon cure her of that, he said to himself with quiet confi- 
dence. Perhaps — he caught his breath, and a flush of 
rapture lighted up his face as the thought flashed through 
his mind — perhaps he might even persuade her to re- 
deem her oft-repeated pledge and become his " forever 
and ever " before he marched away into the vortex of war. 

How sweet the quaint words of the child-betrothal 
seemed as his lips whispered them ! He was sure she 
would see that they need not wait longer ; that she 
ought to be his wife before he went out to battle. 
Why not go home and be married at once ? He could 
get a week, perhaps two. It would be a short honey- 
moon, but at such times love must stand in abeyance. 
Duty is the soldier's watchword, and he was a soldier. 
He felt that the transition was complete. The red 
spur on his heel burned hotly, but its glow gave him only 
pleasure. He was a son of Old Harry now ; and Theo- 
philus ? Pshaw ! What did he caie for doom or dole ? 

He picked up the letters. The first was directed in 
his uncle's hand. He laid the others down, and opened 
it with a smile. A flush of pleasure came to his face as 
he read the hearty congratulations, and the smile 



270 A Son of Old Harry. 

deepened as he found that his future was to be linked 
with another horse — one of proud enough descent to be 
worthy of his high destiny. He wondered if the glare 
of battle would bring him closer still to that noble beast 
with whom his fate seemed to be irrevocably linked. 

"It's a pity about the big bay," wrote Horace Good- 
win, " I always knew he was a good one, though I can't 
quite believe he did a mile in the time you mention. 
You did just right about the money, and deserve the 
luck it brought — every bit of it. Come and see us 
before you go. Your mother is dying to show you off, 
and we are all very proud of you. I am sorry your 
regiment is not from this State, but, of course, you 
couldn't miss such a chance as that. I am very busy 
helping raise and equip troops. If it was not for your 
mother and the babies I should have to go, too. I know 
how you feel, for the old mark bums like fire every 
time I think of it. 

"Now that you are going in the cavalry, you will 
want a horse that will be a credit to the regiment, and 
I have decided to let you have Damon, out of Queen, 
by Gray Eagle — five years old, with all the good qual- 
ities of both stocks. You can hardly imagine how he 
has come out since you saw him. You know he has the 
lofty crest and proud carriage of the Eagle, with the 
soft, seal-brown coat and silver mane and tail of old 
Diomed. He has even that curious mark that comes 
out now and then on one of that grand old horse's pro- 
geny, and never yet seen where his blood was absent — 
a white spot as big as a dime, an inch above the crown 
of the right hoof. He is the very ideal of an officer's 
horse — proud, bold, full of fire and determination, and 
as tough as a whip-cord. If you go to Virginia, you will 
probably find a good many who will recognize him as a 



Old Harry s Luck. 271 

descendant of one of the proudest sires of the Old 
Dominion. If he has any fault of form, it is that he is 
a little too long bodied — if that is a fault. I am inclined 
to think it an excellence. He gets it through the Bel- 
mont Mare — all her descendants have it. You won't 
find anything that will outshine or outstep or outlast 
him, though, North or South. That's my notion at 
least. 

" Susan and I had planned to make Delia a present 
of the colt on her wedding day — he is so fine under 
the saddle, you know — but we feel sure she would not 
want him, under the circumstances. Poor girl ! How 
does she bear her trouble ? It must be terrible to one 
so high-spirited. Everybody had a sort of distrust of 
Kincaid, but no one thought he was such a rascal. It 
would probably never have come out if it had not been 
for that whelp, Marvin. It seems he has been bleeding 
Kincaid for years on account of some connection with 
that old gang of horse-thieves. Marsh got tired of pay- 
ing, and the scamp threatened to blow on him — did 
begin to let out hints of what he could tell — and the first 
thing anybody knew, Kincaid was gone. He left a 
power of attorney with Kendall, to sell everything and 
send him the money. His wife followed him two or three 
days afterward. I don't think he had done anything 
very bad — probably getting me shot was the worst — and, 
if he had, it was outlawed ; but he has been getting proud 
and trying to be respectable of late years, and was so 
fond of Deely that he couldn't stand it to meet disgrace. 
So he broke and run. I'm inclined to think it the best 
thing he could do. I don't suppose Dee will want to 
come back here now — though everybody would be just 
as kind to her as ever ; but if you don't marry her and 
keep her with you until you are ordered to the front, 
you're not the man I take you to be. After that, if she 



272 A Son of Old Harry. 

will come and stay with us while you are gone, we will 
g^ve her just as warm a place as there is in our hearts. 

" Some pretend to think that Marsh has gone South, 
but I don't believe it. It's my notion he'll turn up some- 
where with the army. He's got plenty of money and 
is just the kind of a man to make it count at such a 
time. You might keep an eye out for him." 

What did it mean ? What had Delia suffered while 
he had been so happy ? He glanced hastily over the 
other letters — all but one at the bottom of the pile, 
directed in her familiar hand to " Mr." J. H. Goodwin. 
She had not learned of his preferment then — or was she 
angry ? She did not know how thoroughly " Jack " had 
been expunged ; even the initial was gone now. His 
commission was addressed to " Hubert " Goodwin, and 
as such he had been mustered in. He had eliminated 
even the suggestion of that name whose grotesque 
equivalent his love had chosen for a pet name. No one 
else would ever call him that again. He tore it open 
hastily. It was dated the very night he had seen her 
last : 

"Jack: I couldn't tell you what you will probably 
know before you read this. 1 wanted to go away — to 
hide from it, but you would not. You were right. My 
place is not with you, but with those who suffer shame. 
I shall go to them before you are awake to-morrow. Do 
not try to follow or find me. If the time ever comes 
when I can be your wife without stain to your good 
name, I will let you know. I will write — sometimes, 
and, wherever I am, will read the Standard. If you 
insert an advertisement ' To Dee,' I shall see it and will 
answer it, if — if I can. I shall love you ' forever and 
ever.' Dee." 



Old Harry's Ltick. 273 

While he had been so busy about other things his love 
had fled out of his life ! How barren his honors seemed 
now that he had lost her ! All else was ashes ! But he 
had hope. He hastened to the Brainerd Institute and 
learned nothing more than he already knew. 

He sat down and wrote an advertisement, which he 
sent to the office of the Standard. 

" To Dee : I shall wait * forever and ever !' 

"Jack." 

It did not seem an extravagant statement, though the 
advertising clerk smiled incredulously when he read it. 

He enclosed a bank-note* to pay fdr the advertising, 
and asked that whatever remained might be credited to 
"Jack." 

Then he went out and walked the streets until nearly 
night, trying to decide what he ought to do, and finally 
doing the very thing he ought not to have done. He 
went to see Kitty Parker. 

Perhaps what afterward happened would have hap- 
pened anyhow, but it is a dangerous thing for a man to 
seek the presence of one attractive woman when his 
heart is sore, even though it be full to bursting, with 
love for another. And Kitty Parker was not only a pretty 
girl, but bright and intelligent, too, and had unfortu- 
nately a very tender regard for Colonel Hubert Good- 
win — a regard that antedated by many months that 
officer's commission. 

The month which followed was called by Colonel 
Craft a month of idleness. It was that rugged veteran's 
belief that the best way to make soldiers out of raw 
levies was to set them at once to doing a soldier's duty 
— marching and fighting. From the very day he 
assumed command, therefore, he was clamorous for the 



2 74 ^ "^^^^ ^f O^^ Harry. 

arms and equipment, and tireless in drill. To the men, 
and especially to the officers of the Legion, these were 
very far fi om being idle days. It takes a deal of brain, 
as well as patience, to transform a thousand men who 
have never had an hour's training of hand or eye into 
efficient soldiers, especially when they who teach must 
themselves be taught. If the days were busy ones for 
the soldiers, they were overcrowded ones for the offi- 
cers. Drill, tactics, reports — all the infinity of detail 
which distinguishes military from civil life — these had to 
be learned at high pressure, a year's work crowded into 
a month. Under these circumstances, Hubert had little 
time for regret. Now and then, when the thought of 
his lost love seemed likely to overpower him, he would 
get leave of absence from the camp for a few hours 
and ride out along the road which had become so 
familiar to him when Henlopen was in Farmer Parker's 
care. He did not talk with Kitty about Delia Kincaid. 
He could not tell her all, and foolishly concluded to say 
nothing. She knew, of course, that there was something 
wrong between the lovers. Whether she was glad or 
not, who shall say ? That she sympathized with Hubert 
there could be no doubt, and her sympathy comforted 
him. How should she know that every day his eyes 
scanned the columns of the Standard ior an answer to 
his advertisement ? How should she know that he was 
the " Jack " who had directed the advertisement to be 
marked ** itwtf " — once a week until forbidden ? She 
did not even recall that his name was "Jack." She 
had met Miss Kincaid, but she had never heard of 
" Dee." It is not surprising, therefore, that she jour- 
neyed to the Western city near which the Legion were 
to receive their mount, under pretense of visiting a 
cousin, but really that she might see the regiment 
when it passed through on its way to the front. 



Old Harry's Luck. 275 

That was a proud day for the young lieutenant- 
colonel. He knew that his mother, his uncle and Kitty 
Parker were among the spectators ; yet though he 
responded gayly to the greetings of these friends, there 
was a weight on his heart that the one face dearer to 
him than all others was missing. The regiment pre- 
sented a fine appearance despite the inexperience of the 
men. It was but three days since they had received 
their saddles. The better part of them had never been 
on horseback a dozen times in their lives. The horses 
were fresh and spirited. Sedley had attended to their 
purchase, and in each troop they were all of the same 
color — black, brown, bay, chestnut. Taken as a whole, 
they were probably the best lot of horses that ever bore 
the brand *' U. S." upon shoulder and flank. 

There were some fine mounts among the officers, but 
Damon eclipsed them all, quite fulfilling his owner's 
expectation. His bright eye, swelling nostril, high-flung 
silver crest and splendid action attracted attention not 
only to himself but to his graceful, self-possessed rider 
as well. The sturdy colonel smiled grimly as he 
listened to the cheers which greeted his dashing sub- 
ordinate and thought of the thirty-mile march which 
lay before the regiment on the other side of the river' 
ere it would go into camp. He meant to give men 
and horses a jaunt that would test their mettle, and 
expected to see his lieutenant-colonel droop as well as 
the others. How proudly erect the experienced soldier 
sat in his saddle ! Firmly braced up, he knew men 
would have before them all day long one model, at 
least, of soldierly form and fortitude. He thought there 
would be only one ; but when the sun dropped to the 
edge of the horizon, and he sat by the way-side to 
observe the regiment file past as it went into camp, he 
found, to his surprise, that his young subordinate sat 



276 A Son of Old Harry. 

his horse as firmly and unweariedly as himself, though 
during all that first long march Damon had not con- 
descended to abandon the proud amble with which he 
set out and come down to a staid and quiet walk. He 
gave the horse and rider a look of admiration as they 
went by, and when next morning he found both as 
ready for duty as himself, he counted it fortunate that 
his immediate subordinate would do credit to his 
tutelage and example. From that hour the old soldier 
and the young one were sworn friends. The luck of 
Old Harry still clung to his descendant. If Venus 
mocked his desire, grim-visaged Mars smiled fondly 
upon him. 



CHAPTER Xn. 



HOW HISTORY IS MADE. 



It was nearly two years after the storm of war began. 
The troopers of the Sedley Legion had long since 
become veteran campaigners. Their guidons had 
known both victory and defeat. They had marched, 
scouted, fought and fled. They had stubbornly impeded 
the advance of a triumphant enemy, and fallen savagely 
upon his rear in retreat. They had been the eyes and 
ears of commanding generals ; had guarded communi- 
cations and protected trains, and sometimes acted as 
body-guards arid servitors of those carrion-birds of our 
army, the cotton speculators who coined gold out of 
brave men's blood. The gleam and glitter of their 
bright array had long since paled. War had ceased to 
be a holiday to them. The horses of the various troops 
had lost their uniformity. Beardless boys who went out 



How History is Made. 277 

as private soldiers wore soldier-straps as complacently 
as their mustaches, now. Men who had never mounted 
a horse until mustered in, sat their saddles now as easily 
as a vaquero. The brilliant officer who first commanded 
them had won a star before he had been three months 
in the field, and Hubert Goodwin had been promoted 
with the hearty approval of his superior. The blood 
of the old cavalier served him well, and not only the 
regiment he commanded, but a whole army were proud 
of the dashing young soldier. He was not alone. All 
around him there were men who had leaped from the 
desk to the saddle, and were striving in noble compe- 
tition for coruscating stars — the priceless rewards of 
valor — with which the firmament of war was full. It 
was the day of miracles, which were so common that 
men hardly wondered at them. 

A great battle was in progress. The Sedley Legion 
— now a " legion " no more, but only Nth Cavalry — 
was scattered here and there — a troop at headquarters, 
others with the trains, two more upon a scout, and three 
with the young colonel in command, watching Sigsby's 
Bridge upon the extreme left, with orders to prevent a 
crossing if attempted in force, but not to attack unless 
absolutely necessary. 

All day long the battle had roared and surged away 
to the right, swelling down to the center, pushing back 
the left, but still the troopers of the Nth Cavalry waited 
unengaged behind the wooded crest that hid them from 
the enemy beyond the bridge. The day had been cold 
and lowering. The rain had swollen the narrow stream 
until it overflowed its banks and spread half across the 
bottoms on which the unpicked cotton stood, the snowy 
bolls flecking the rows of frost-browned plants. Along 
the stream was a narrow belt of timber, and through it 
a single opening, with a weather-beaten bridge across 



278 A So?t of Old Harry. 

it, and the turbid water touching the stringers on either 
side. The green leaves and red berries of the holly- 
dotted the hedgerows, while the mistletoe hung from 
the branches of the few ancient giants which marked 
the course of the stream. Above the second growth of 
the low-ground could be seen the enemy's picket-line 
upon the hills beyond, and now and then a couple of 
guns, posted on the highest of them, sent a shell shriek- 
ing through the oaks beneath which the troopers stood. 
The side and crest of the hill behind which the troopers 
lay were covered with dark, clinging cedars, through 
which the road leading down to the bridge showed red 
and steep. 

Colonel Goodwin, pacing back and forth in the edge 
of the cedar thicket, watched and waited. Toward 
night, his scouts brought word that troops were mass- 
ing beyond the river, preparing to cross in force. He 
reported the fact to the commanding general, and asked 
for help. Not a regiment or a gun could be taken from 
its place in the beleaguered front. The reports became 
more positive ; his appeal more urgent. Not a man 
could be spared ; so came the reply, but the Nth Cav- 
alry must prevent the crossing ; an attack from that 
quarter would be fatal. If they could delay the enemy 
an hour, a brigade coming up from the rear would 
relieve them. This was the response of the general in 
command. The enemy was preparing to cross. 
Hubert Goodwin sent back three troopers to find and 
guide the relieving force, and placed himself at the 
head of his men. A brigade had already crossed the 
bridge and formed in line on each side the road. They 
were evidently intended to support the crossing of a 
larger force which had not yet appeared, and for the 
coming of which they waited. They outnumbered him 
three or four to one, but for the moment they were at 



How History is Made. 279 

his mercy. The ground was in his favor. If he could 
beat these back, it might delay the intended movement 
— probably would. There was no hope of doing it by 
any other means. He rode along the ranks and spoke 
a few words to his men. His horse tossed its silver 
mane as proudly and pranced as daintily as if on review. 
He knew his men, and they knew him. The hard, 
tanned faces, the firm-set lips and down-drawn brows 
answered his appeal even more satisfactorily than the 
cheer that went up from their throats. They were old 
soldiers, and, consequently, not anxious for battle ; but 
not one of them would flinch at any odds. 

Then he returned to his post. The bugle sounded ; 
some needless orders flew from lip to lip ; sabers rat- 
tled from their iron scabbards, and their curving backs 
were pressed against the firm broad shoulders. Every 
man settled himself doggedly in his saddle. There was 
a quick trot to the brow of the hill. Then the bugle 
sounded the charge. Every lip repeated the expected 
command, and with the silver-maned son of Gray Eagle 
in the lead, the Nth Cavalry swept down the sharp 
incline, in the face of shot and shell, upon the thin 
infantry line in the bottom. These made a brave 
stand ; but, knowing that the ground was firm, the 
cavalry wheeled to the right and left, and before they 
could reload or even fix their bayonets, were upon them. 
They were forced back into the overflowed skirt of tim- 
ber. Most of them threw away their arms and swam 
and scrambled for the other side ; but many recogniz- 
ing, with a soldier's quick intuition, the advantage of 
this position, though the water was almost to their 
waists, halted and fired from behind the trees at their 
pursuers. At the same time, a section of artillery 
wheeling into position on the road beyond the bridge. 



28o A Son of Old Harry. 

sent a perfect hailstorm of shot along the way by which 
the cavalry had come. 

It was over in an instant ; the retreat sounded, and 
the few who were left put their horses at the sharp, shot- 
gashed ridge and dashed back to form again under its 
shelter. 

The silver-maned charger was in his accustomed 
place, his eyes flashing, white tail waving proudly and 
nostrils showing red and hot in the quivering seal- 
brown muzzle. But the wooden stirrups with the 
splashed leather shields hung empty at his side. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



A LESSON IN ORNITHOLOGY. 



" Say, Bill ; did you ever hear a whipper-will in 
Christmas week before ?" 

" Can't say ez I ever did, Jim, an' I ain't dead sure I 
hear one now." 

A couple of Confederate pickets crouching in the 
cedar thicket above Sigsby's Bridge were talking in low 
tones, while the plaintive note of the night-bird came 
with startling clearness from the narrow bottom 
beyond. The day's battle had been a drawn one, and 
the two armies bivouacked within hearing of each other. 
In many places the pickets were hardly fifty yards 
apart, and a fitful fire ran up and down the lines at 
intervals all night long. Each army could see the glare 
of the other's camp-fires reflected from the trees and 
the lowing sky. Each could hear the sound of prepara- 
tion, too, and the low, plaintive cadence of the moans 



A Lesson in Ornithology. 281 

that went up from the wounded and dying who lay 
between the lines — that saddest of all the grim incidents 
of war. 

" Don't yer hear that one down thar on the bottom ?" 

'* I'm a-hearin' of it straight enough, but I ain't exactly 
sure 'bout it's bein' a whipper. Ef hit wer' June, now, 
instead of December, I probably wouldn't think nothin' 
of it, but jest at this time hit do sound suspicious-like." 

" Seems ter be right across the run, whar the cavalry 
charged on us, don't it ?" 

" That's just whar it is, I've been a-hearin' of it 
quite a little time now by spells. I thought at first hit 
mought be some sort of a sign, and have hed my eyes 
and ears open to see ef thar wer' anythin' goin' on 
tharabouts. Ye know the Yankee pickets is jest in the 
edge of the wood on the brow of the hill 'cross thar, an' I 
didn't know but they might be tryin' for the bridge 
again. 'Tain't likely though, fer they must know thet 
ef they couldn't get through thar by daylight it ain't 
an)rway probable they'd be able to at night. I 'low it's 
some poor fellow thet's got hurt a-whistling fer his 
mate to come and help him off. Of co'se it's orders to 
fire at anything we see a-stirrin' toward the front, but I 
ain't gwine ter shoot at no whipper-wills, ner nobody 
thet comes ter help 'em, either. It's too dark to make 
out anything clear an' good down in the shadder on the 
bottom anyhow, an' ef the clouds should break away, 
an' I should see anythin' movin' round thar, I couldn't 
make out whether it wer' a man er a mule — unless thar 
wer' a good many of 'em. That ain't orders, but it's 
sense." 

" So hit ar. Bill. I 'low ther's many a poor fellow 
over thar — ours ez well ez their'n — that's jest a-prayin' 
fer somebody ter come an' take him off, or, perhaps, 
even give em one drink of water 'fore he dies. Of 



282 A Son of Old Harry. 

co'se, orders is orders, an has ter be, but sojers knows 
'bout sech things, an' the feller that goes ter shootin' 
cause one of the t'other side crawls out ter find his 
pardner, ain't fit ter be on picket at sech a time. 
Hark ! Thar 'tis ag'in ! Wal, now, ef that ain't a 
whipper then I don't know one when I hears it." 

** Hit do sound powerful like one — that's a fact." 

" That were a mighty purty charge the Yanks made 
thar, jest about sundown, Bill ?" 

" The cavalry ? Never seed the like ! It were all 
nonsense, though ; ef they'd got the bridge they couldn't 
er held it." 

" Not a minit." 

" An' all our folks hed ter do was jest ter fall back 
inter the edge of the swamp, an' they was ez safe ez ef 
they'd been inside the rock of Gibraltar." 

" Edzactly ; arter all, 'twere jest foolbizness, puttin' 
a line over thar at all. We'd no bizness a-crossin' the 
run till enough on us went over ter do something." 

*' That's so ; but we emptied the saddles lively when 
they started back ! I don't b'leeve more'n half on 'em 
got over the hill. Did you see the kunnel ?" 

" The one on the hoss with the white mane ?" 

" Edzactly." 

" Who could help seein' of him ?" 

" Wasn't it splendid ! There he was, with not more'n 
three or four hundred men at his back, chargin' a line 
four times as strong, an' tryin' ter take a bridge in p'int 
blank range of two twelve-pounders, that wasn't served 
by men asleep, by no manner of means ! He must have 
knowed thar wam't any chance for 'em ter do nothin', 
and not much chance of many of 'em gettin' back ; but 
ter see him come down the big road thar, ahead of the 
line, his sword over his head, an' a-lookin' back every 
now an' then ter see if his men was all right — with the 



A Lesson in Ornithology. 283 

shell drappin' all about him, an' tearin' up the dirt in 
front of 'em — I tell you it was grand !" 

" Our fellers didn't stop ter have no argyment with 
'em," said the other, laughing softly, " They jest 
turned an' took ter to the water like so many frogs in a 
mill-pond." 

" No use of doin' anything else." 

" Co'se not ; thar war the critter-fellers comin' right 
down on 'em, an' the creek way over its banks behind 
'em, an no chance ter get across only that narrer bridge. 
An' we couldn't help 'em a mite till the Yanks war 
plum down to the bridge. I s'pose they thought too 
many of us was crossin' ter the'r side." 

The dry, quaint humor of the Southern countryman 
showed in the words and tones of the speakers. 

" Of co'se ; an' ef it hadn't been fer that charge, I 
s'pose we'd all been all over that bridge pretty soon 
a-tearin' up the hill, an' like as not rollin' up the'r flank 
with a yell jest ez we did the other wing in the mom- 
in'." 

" I wouldn't wonder. They say that was the gineral's 
plan, an' that's why our folks hed been so mighty keer- 
ful not to make any show round here all day — jest 
keepin' a little gyard down at the bridge, ez ef the'r 
wasn't only a handful in the neighborhood. But the'r 
was some mis-connection ; nobody were on hand ter 
foller them two regiments across, an' they hadn't fairly 
got inter line each side the bridge, afore the cavalry 
was onto 'em — an' they were a-comin' back without 
waitin' for no pontoons," 

" I s'pect the Yankee kunnel seed what was in the 
wind, an' charged jest ter break it up." 

" More'n likely ; he did it, too, Yer see, 'twouldn't do 
ter try ter steal across ag'in, an' it were so late afore the 



284 A Son of Old Harry. 

artillery got up ter cover the crossin' thet ther* warn' 
no use ter start afore nightfall." 

'* I s'pect we'll have ter try it in the mornin'." 

" I doubt it. Yer see, 'tain't no fit place ter cross 
nohow, unless we could steal across unbeknownst. 
Our fellers ought to have charged up the hill yonder 
as soon as they struck the dirt, instid of spreadin' out 
on the bottom like a fan, an* waitin' ter be rid down." 

There is no keener military critic than the observant 
veteran in the ranks. 

" Of co'se ; but I s'pose they hed their orders, same as 
we 'uns." 

" Likely ; but I don't believe there was anything but 
the leetle squad of cavalry to stop 'em then ; an' that 
wouldn't have been anythin' ef they hadn't squatted like 
an ole har' in her form an' waited ter be rid down ; but 
there'll be infantry an' artillery thar afore mornin'. I 
wonder ef the Yankee kunnel were killed ?" 

" I seed his hoss go back without him." 

" Yes, I seed that, too ; when the bugle sounded he 
fell inter his place an' went up the hill with stirrups 
flyin' loose, ez proud an' stiddy ez ef his master war on 
his back." 

" Which he ain't ever likely ter be ag'in." 

" Prob'ly not. That were a powerful unhealthy 
place down by the bridge when our folks was once out 
of the way, an' not a sign of cover goin' back up the 
hill. Thar's the bird ag'in ! Yer see that ain't no 
whipper." 

•' I s'pect yer right ; but the feller's playin' it fer all 
it's wuth this time, no mistake. What's that ?" 

There was the sound of a scuffle at the rear ; cries of 
** Whoa !" and the shouted command, " Stop him !" 

" Reckon somebody's hoss is loose," said the other, 
carelessly. 



A Lesson m Or^tithology. 285 

" Here he comes !" 

The sound of a horse's hoofs splashing down the clayey- 
road toward their post was now plainly heard. 

" Looks ez ef he were desartin' to the enemy, don't 
it ? Shall I shoot ?" 

"Tain't no use, but — here he is !" 

Both discharged their gfuns, instinctively, as a horse 
dashed by them along the road by which they were 
posted. They began at once to reload. 

" Was there anybody on him, Jim ?" 

" I don't believe there was — it was so dark I couldn't 
see — but the stirrups was a-flyin' ; I heerd them. Thar 
he goes across the bridge !" 

" Looks like it war a deserter, don't hit ?" 

" Listen." 

The horse had stopped on the other side of the bridge 
and gave an inquiring neigh, 

" Jest listen at the whipper, Bill — ain't he a-goin' it ?" 

" An' the hoss is answerin' him, Jim." 

'* 'Pon my soul, I b'leeve he is !" 

The horse was evidently retracing his steps, whinny- 
ing from time to time with startled inquiry. The 
whip-poor-will call was rapidly repeated, with an 
unmistakably persuasive emphasis. 

" It's some feller callin' his hoss, Bill." 

" But this one come from our side." 

" Hit must be one o' their'n thet didn't git back. Yer 
know ther war a number of 'em come cl'ar acrost the 
bridge." 

" So they did — the kunnel among 'em. I wonder how 
any of 'em got back." 

'* This one didn't, ye see ; an' hearin' his master a 
callin' of him, he's answered. That's the way on't. Bill." 

" Wal, don't that beat any thin'? I tell ye, Jim, a hoss 
knows 'most ez much ez a man— ef he 's treated right." 



286 A Son of Old Harry. 

" Sometimes more. Yer couldn't fool a hoss with no 
whipper-will song, 'specially of a New Year's Eve." 

" Thet's so." 

The soldiers laughed under their breath. 

" Who's there ?" 

Footsteps were hurriedly approaching from the rear. 

" All right," answered an officer, in a low tone, as he 
joined them from the reserve. 

" What was it, Capting ?" 

" The colonel's horse has deserted to the enemy," 
answered the officer, unable to repress his laughter. 

" Anybody on him ?" 

" Not a soul ; but he's taken the colonel's kit — saddle- 
bags, holsters and all." 

The captain chuckled again over his superior's mis- 
fortune, 

" Which hoss was it ?" asked Bill. 

" The bay he got up in Kentucky." 

" How did it happen ?" 

" He's been a-fretting for half an hour, biting and 
kicking like mad. The boy couldn't do anything with 
him, and the colonel, who always thinks he can do every- 
thing better'n anybody else, went to try his hand. He 
no sooner got hold of the bridle than he was pitched on 
his head in the mud, and the horse started full tilt for 
the Yankee lines. I s'pose he was crazy, but it's a good 
joke on the colonel all the same." 

" Capting, that hoss has found his old master over 
thar. Jest listen at him now." 

Short neighs of recognition came up to their ears out 
of the darkness in the valley, and the whip-poor-will 
call was repeated softly and quickly. 

** I believe you're right," said the captain, after lis- 
tening a moment. " There he goes," he added, as he 
heard the sound of the horse's footsteps walking away 



A Lesson in Oriiithology. 287 

from them along the road. Almost instantly there was 
a commotion among the pickets on the crest of the hill 
beyond the river. Shots were fired and a general alarm 
seemed to be given. 

" The durn fools '11 shoot ther own man !" said Jim, 
in a tone of disgust. 

" An' the hoss too," added Bill, regretfully. 

" If he'd jest charge on 'em, I reckon he'd stampede 
the post," said the officer. " And that's what he's doin' 
too !" he added, excitedly. " There he goes, by thun- 
der !" 

The rush of gall oping hoofs was heard dashing up the 
opposite hillside ; there were a half-dozen shots, shouts, 
a drumbeat, and all the vague clamor of a night-alarm 
in an army lying upon its arms in constant apprehen- 
sion of an attack. 

" Well," said the officer, with quiet humor, " the colo- 
nel has lost a mighty good horse and the Yankees have 
lost some sleep. We needn't be afraid they'll disturb 
us any more to-night, but I hope it won't be our turn to 
be in the lead if our folks try to cross that bridge in the 
morning. The Yankees'll have twenty guns ready to 
play on it by that time. Good-bye." 

The officer turned back toward the reserve, and left 
the picket quiet and watchful, waiting impatiently for 
the relief. 

" Jim," said Bill, after a while, " I wouldn't wonder if 
the story got out in the newspapers an' worked its way 
along into books, an' so finally come to be believed, 
that a whipper-will was heard a-singin' atween the 
lines of these two armies this very night, cold an' dark 
an' the last day of December ez it is. Yer see them 
Yankee newspaper chaps don't know a whipper-will 
from a water-rat, and don't know but they're just as 
likely ter sing New Year's Eve ez May-day night. Bet 



288 A Son of Old Harry. 

ye what ye dare, Jim, the No'th'n papers'll hev a big 
splurge over that thar whipper's singin' ter the dead an' 
dyin' down where the Yankee cavalry got cut up." 

" Shouldn't wonder," answered Jim, sagely. 

And, sure enough, they did. It is thus that history 
is made. The mid- winter whip-poor-will of Stone 
River still lives, a splendid example of the force of 
human credulity. Science is not less powerful against 
the supernatural than truth against sentiment. Bill 
Sykes and Jim Blaisdell guessed out the truth ; but 
they were not newspaper correspondents, and the 
world never got their version of the marvel that hap- 
pened between the picket lines at Sigsby's Bridge that 
night. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

OUT OF THE DARKNESS. 

"You've had a close call. Colonel." 

The man who spoke wore the uniform of an army 
surgeon. The one he addressed sat in a rude reclining 
chair, on the porch of a hospital, which stood upon a 
bluff overlooking a noble river, which was covered with 
gunboats and transports. There was a hint of spring 
in the air and sunshine. Forts and earth-works showed 
red against the brown hill-sides. A half-mile away 
was a city. Lines of white tents were visible here and 
there. Flags dotted the landscape with color. The 
invalid, who was wrapped in an army blanket, with a 
soft red rug thrown over it, looked up inquiringly from 
his pillow. 



Otit of the Darkness. 289 

"You see, it was a good while before you had any- 
proper care, and that bullet, which only made a new 
parting in your hair, played the mischief with the brain 
under it. It seemed to touch the very centre of volition. 
Involuntary action was not much impaired ; that's what 
saved you. Liquids placed in your mouth were swal- 
lowed, and, fortunately, assimilated. The straps on 
your shoulders showed your rank, but it was a good 
while before we were able to learn who you were. 
There didn't seem to be any scarcity of colonels, and 
we couldn't learn of any who were unaccounted for." 

The doctor laughed quietly at his own humor. 

" How long has it been since the battle ?" asked the 
invalid, weakly. 

" Do you see that hint of color in the orchards across 
the river ?" 

The young man looked languidly in the direction 
indicated, and signified assent by a movement of the 
eyelids rather than a nod of the head. 

" What do you think it is ?" 

" Peach-blossoms ?" 

" Exactly. They are a little late this year, they tell 
me. This is the last day of February, and the battle, or 
your part* of it, at least, was the last day of December." 

" That — is ?" glancing toward the city. 

" Nashville." 

" We won — I suppose ?" 

" Naturally, or you would hardly be here in my care." 

" And my regiment ?" 

"It is at the front." 

" When can I join it ?" 
^ '* Can you bear the truth ?" 

The officer's lips quivered, but he nodded affirmatively. 

" I believe you can," said the surgeon, with a satisfied 
smile, " and it is better for you to know the truth at 



290 A So7i of Old Harry. 

once than be finding it out by degrees. Well, then, I 
suppose you will hardly go back to the regiment at all." 

A spasm of pain passed over the young man's face. 

" Is it as bad as that, doctor ?" 

"Well — yes and no. A man who has had your luck 
should not speak of anything as bad. Let me give you 
a stimulant and light a cigar, and I will see if I can get 
you back into the world, so that you will know where 
you stand." 

The doctor poured some spirits into a glass upon a 
stand near by, and gave the other a sip. Lighting a 
cigar, he seated himself upon a camp-stool facing the 
couch, and after a few whiffs, said : 

" I have been expecting these questions for a week 
and been fearful that something might happen to shock 
you before you were prepared for it. You must under- 
stand that I think you are all right — that you only need 
care and rest and attention to be as good as you ever 
were ; but my associates of the medical staff do not 
agree with me. They say it is possible, but not probable. 
You must understand, therefore, that your recovery 
depends very largely upon yourself, and just now the 
most important thing is that you should not suffer any 
sudden shock. I will tell you all I know, and the rest 
you must gather up little by little, never allowing your- 
self to get excited about anything. Can 5'ou do it ?" 

""l will try." 

'' That is it — just put on the brakes and I don't believe 
you will be in any sort of danger. Now, what is the 
last thing you remember ?" 

" I think it is — Was there a charge ?" 

" Down a hill — toward a bridge," suggested ^ne sur- 
geon. 

" Yes ; I remember they had crossed the bridge. It 
was a wicked thing ; but it had to be done." 



Out of the Darkness. 291 

The speaker closed his eyes and shuddered. 

" No doubt about that ; and it was well done — 
splendidly done. Everybody is proud of it. They say 
the charge saved us from an attack on the left flank that 
would probably have bee'n fatal, hard-pressed as we were 
on the right." 

" We didn't get the bridge ?" 

" No, but you threw the troops which had already 
crossed into inextricable confusion, and there was no 
time to supply their places with others before dark." 

The officer nodded. 

" There were a few reached the bridge and some say 
you went clean across it." 

" I believe I did," with a flush. 

" The next in command, thinking you were lost and 
satisfied that all had been done that could be accom- 
plished, ordered the retreat to be sounded. Your horse 
returned to his place, but you were not with him." 

"I seem to remember falling off." 

" Do you remember anything more ?" 

The other shook his head. 

" Some time during the night you came charging into 
our lines, half -unconscious, clinging to a strange horse — 
a Confederate officer's horse, in fact. Do you know how 
you got it ?" 

He shook his head again. 

" I had a curiosity to kiaow, for it seemed to me most 
probable that the shot you received was fired by our 
pickets. You might have been stunned by your fall ?'• 

" I seem to have a remembrance of being down — 
afraid I would be trampled on, you know — and then 
getting up — on a horse — but it is like a dream. I seem 
to have been dreaming ever since." 

" Well, you have been. Your regiment was sent to 
the rear — what was left of it, at least-—" 



292 A Soil of Old Harry. 

" There were only three companies," interrupted the 
other. 

" I know — the rest were detached. Well, there 
weren't many left — men nor horses — and they were sent 
back after the charge. A neW brigade which had just 
come to the field was ordered into position there. They, 
of course, did not know you — a good many thought you 
were a Confederate, indeed, but you were sent to a field 
hospital, and after awhile brought to the city — not 
exactly unconscious, but curiously out of joint " — the 
surgeon tapped his head to explain his meaning. 
*' Nobody expected you to get well, and an army hospi- 
tal is a poor place for such cases as yours. I happened 
to be down at the church where you were, and was 
attracted to you by a singular circumstance. You did 
not seem to know anything that went on about you. 
You could see — for you flinched from a blow if your 
eyes were open — and could hear, for the calls which were 
sounded at a battery on the hill above the hospital 
seemed to start some train of thought in your mind. But 
the thing that struck my attention was that you kept 
repeating over and over again exactly the same expres- 
sion that a patient of mine whose case interested me 
greatly had used in something the same way." 

" What was that ?" 

" Oh, it wasn't anything of importance," answered the 
doctor, evasively. " I'll tell you about it some time. 
You've had about enough for the present. What I want 
to tell you now is that I had you brought here, and 
after a while learned who you were. You mustn't let it 
disturb you, but your friends supposed you to be dead. 
Somebody had taken everything from your pockets 
before you reached the hospital — perhaps while you 
were on the field — and so you were reported dead or 
missing." 



Out of the Darkness, 293 

" And some one has been put in my place ?" asked 
the young man, chokingly. 

" Don't let that trouble you. The day before you 
were shot, you were nominated a brigadier-general ; and 
when the story of your gallant conduct was received, 
though you were then missing and might be dead, the 
Senate conrirmed the appointment and the President 
signed the commission. There, there ! Don't let your 
good luck break you down now. There's many a man 
would be willing to change places with you, even if you 
were as dead as everybody thinks you, for such honor 
as that." 

The tears were running over the sunken cheeks down 
into the brown beard. The doctor handed him the glass 
and required him to take more of the stimulant. 

" Now, I am going to have you taken back to your 
room," he said, " give you an opiate, and you must go 
to sleep. In the morning you must tell me what word 
I am to send to your people. I have let no one know, 
as yet, that you are alive." 

The next day Hubert Goodwin was decidedly better. 
The languor and apathy which had previously affected 
him had perceptibly diminished, and he was already 
beginning to make plans for the future. The first thing 
to be done was to re-introduce himself to the world who 
believed him dead. He thought it would have been 
pleasant to have remained incognito awhile longer— to 
have watched the world until the weariness he felt 
passed entirely away. But then he would lose his share 
in the great events that were happening — that share 
already so brilliant. He determined to annotmce his 
return to life, or consciousness, at least, by a letter to 
the President, thanking him for the promotion he had 
receivQdv 



294 -^ "^^^^ ^f ^^^ Harry. 

The surgeon wrote the few lines necessary, at his 
dictation, which he signed with difficulty. 

''And you must telegraph to my mother !" 

" Of course," answered the surgeon, dryly, "We will 
have her here in no time. You think you could stand 
it to see her — and anybody else, I suppose ?" 

"I guess so," answered the young man, thoughtfully. 

" You know you are not — very strong yet — and have 
to be watched all the time when you are asleep, lest you 
should do yourself harm." 

" What do you mean ?" asked the patient, a little 
irritably. 

" Well, you see, one of the queer things about your 
case is that you had all the time a sort of semi-conscious- 
ness of the depression of the skull and its pressure on 
the brain. This consciousness showed itself in sleep, 
and you were all the time trying to dig it out of the 
way. So you kept the wound torn open all the time, 
and we have had to keep it bandaged and plastered and 
your hands tied, too, until — well, until we concluded to 
have you watched while you slept." 

The tinith was that the young officer had undergone 
that most delicate of surgical operations, trepanning, 
with the difference that in his case a portion of the skull 
had been taken from the head of a less fortunate 
sufferer, and carefully fitted to the opening. As death 
had just occurred, and the subject from which the 
portion was taken was of about the same age, it soon 
began to grow into its place, but the irritation of the 
swiftly knitting edges gave such annoyance to the 
patient that he was in constant danger of displacing it. 
The surgeon did not think it wise to let him know this 
fact, and yet felt that he must offer some explanation 
of the constant watch-care exercised over him, both 
while sleeping and awake. 



' Out of the Darkness. 295 

" I heard that your uncle — your stepfather, I believe," 
continued the surgeon, " came and got your horse. He 
had a bullet through the fore-arm, I think, but was 
doing well. They say the regiment was almost as 
proud of him as of their colors." 

Tears showed under the young officer's lashes as he 
closed his eyes and whistled softly to himself to hide 
his agitation. 

" Do you know what they call you in the hospital ?" 
asked the surgeon, with a smile. 

"What?" 

"They call you the Whip-poor-will — because every 
now and then you take to whistling, as you did just 
now, only sometimes you whistle a great deal louder 
and keep it up by the hour at a time." 

" It is the way my uncle always teaches his horses." 

" By the way, I remember seeing in the papers that a 
whip-poor-will was heard singing between the lines the 
night of the battle, despite the fact that it was mid- 
winter and freezing cold. I suspect it was you instead 
of the bird." 

" Likely as not." 

" You've been at it ever since, anyhow. You haven't 
asked me who identified you." 

" Some of the men ?" 

" No, indeed !" 

" Perhaps I told you myself ?" with a smile. 

" Oh, but you didn't know yourself. If you had told 
us we shouldn't have believed a word you said. Give 
it up ?" 

The other bowed assent indifferently. 

" See if you can't guess. Who would be most apt to 
hunt you up ?" 

" Sam ?" 

" Who is Sam ?" ' ■ 



296 A Son of Old Harry. 

" My boy — my servant." 

" Pshaw ! no. Think, now — a woman." 

" What — who ? A woman ?" 

Was it — could it be ? Alas ! he knew it was not. 
Memory had come back, and with it the recollection of a 
letter received from his mother three months before : 

" Horace says I must write and tell you," it had said, 
*' that he has traced the Kincaids finally. They are 
prospering under another name. Dee w'as sick for a 
long- time after she left school — in an asylum for 
several months. She was discharged as cured, and mar- 
ried a short time after. Horace went to see her, so 
that there should be no doubt about the matter. He 
says he never saw her looking better. She pretended 
not to know him, and, he says, carried it out splendidly. 
When he asked her if she had forgotten you — Jack — she 
said : * Jack ? Jack ?' * Yes ; Jack Goodwin,' he said — 
angrily enough, I do not doubt. ' Jack Goodwin ?' 
she repeated, smiling in his face as bold as brass. 
" Seems as if I had heard the name, but I cannot recall 
the person.' When he told her he had come on purpose 
to see her because you wished to know how she was 
and asked her if she had any word to send to you, she 
professed great surprise, but said, in her sweetest way : 
'Tell him I am sorry I do not remember him, but I am 
glad he does not forget me.' 

" And this is all there is of it, my son. I know it will 
almost break your heart, but she was not worthy of you. 
I received a paper containing her marriage notice. 
I do not send it to you, judging that you will prefer to 
know nothing more about her. We feel as if we had 
lost a daughter. I believe Horace thought almost as 
much of her as you did. We cannot understand it, but, 
as he says, * seeing is believing,' Of course, we have 



Out of the Darkness. 297 

got to forget her, too, and I suppose the easiest way will 
be to say nothing more about her." 

" And she promised to be mine * forever and ever, 
the young man said, as he bowed his head upon his 
hands after reading the letter. All the rest of it had 
faded from his memory. These words seemed etched 
forever on his consciousness. 

** You haven't guessed yet," said the surgeon, desiring 
to interrupt what he judged to be an unpleasant 
reverie. 

" Not my mother ?" 

The other shook his head. 

" There is no one else." 

" Did you not know a lady — a young lady — black hair 
— dark eyes-^red cheeks ?" naming each attribute separ- 
ately and suggestively. 

The young m^ shook his head with blank negation. ; 
There was no woman in the world for him but Dee ; 
and Dee was no longer his ; married, months ago — 
another's ! His face grew pale ; he was sick at heart. 
He did not wish to hear of any other. 

" Never knew a young lady named — named — Kitty ?" 
the doctor suggested. 

The young man smiled languidly. 

" Ah ! I thought so. It really frightened me when 
you guessed everybody else and said nothing of her. 
Such a splendid girl, too ! But when one's head has 
been out of gear for a while, it takes some time to get 
his bearings again. Well, sir — she came, this Miss 
Kitty — what's her other name ?" 

"Parker." 

" That's it ; you are getting along finely — well, she 
came about six weeks ago, maybe more — and just 
began a systematic search for you. You see, the trouble 



298 A Son of Old Harry. 

was that nobody could be found to correspond with 
your ' descriptive list.' There was very little fighting 
just at that point, except the charge you made, and no 
one having your rank or of your description was found 
there. There were two theories : one, that you had 
been captured, and the other that you had wandered off 
and died on some other part of the line. Miss Kitty 
determined to find out the truth. She is a very decided 
girl, or she would never have done what she did. She 
thought you were dead, of course, and went and hunted 
up all the "■ burying details " and showed them your 
picture, hoping to learn where you had been buried. 
She had copies of it made, too, and sent to the Confed- 
erate surgeons, but could get no trace of you. 

" Finally, she happened to run across the surgeon 
who examined you when first brought in, and so traced 
you to my hands. Of course, I knew the portrait as 
soon as I set eyes on it, and she hafi been here ever 
since and has taken the best kind of care of you. 
There's no nurse so good for a man as a woman who 
loves him." 

" She must have taken a great deal for granted," said 
the other petulantly. 

" Now, see here, young man," interposed the surgeon, 
jocularly, " don't you go to breaking the poor girl's 
heart by talking in that way. You owe her a good deal 
more than you think — more than you will ever owe any- 
body else." 

There was an impatient movement from the couch. 

" There aren't many girls that would have been as 
faithful and persistent," continued the surgeon ; ** and 
now she is frightened nearly to death lest you should be 
displeased with her. If you don't treat her right, I shall 
wish I had left you to your fate instead of bringing you 
here and making your case special." 



Out of the Darkness. 299 

" Why didn't you ?" asked the patient wearily, half- 
turning his head away and gazing at the rough board 
partition. 

"As I told you, I should have done so if it had 
not been for a peculiarity of your case which inter- 
ested me. I was down at McKendree — that's the 
name of the church where the hospital was — one day, 
and heard you whistle. * Hellow, doctor,' I said to 
my friend ; * have you got an aviary here ?' 

" * O, that's our whip-poor-will,' he replied. " By the 
way, you are interested in such things, suppose you 
come and have a look at the fellow ? Nobody here 
thinks he has a ghost of a chance, but he persists in 
living ; and, well, there can be no harm in looking at 
him.' 

" You see he knew that alienism was my specialty, I 
had been assistant-superintendent of an insane asylum 
for years before I entered the service, and would have 
been superintendent if I had not been a better medical 
man than politician. 

" Well, we went into the body of the church and 
found you in one of the pews they had transformed into 
cots, whistling away for dear life, greatly to the annoy- 
ance of the other patients, who were, however, very 
lenient and kindly to your infirmity. The nurse said 
you had been worse than usual that day, meaning that 
you had whistled more. While I was looking at you, 
you stopped. The expression of your face suddenly 
changed, and it seemed to me that y ou had received a 
new mental impression, either from sound or touch. 
You did not open your eyes ; but when I pressed back 
the lids the orbs rolled about in their sockets uneasily, 
showing an uncomfortable sensitiveness to light. 
Finally, the expression of your countenance softened 
•and you said, solemnly : 



300 



A Son of Old Harry. 



*' ' Forever and ever, Amen.' " 

The officer started. 

" You are surprised ? Well, I don't wonder. Of 
course, if I had known that you had been a divinity 
student, it would not have seemed quite so strange ; but 
the fact is that this very sentence was the keynote, or,, 
rather, the insoluble puzzle of one of the most interest- 
ing cases I have ever known. So, when you repeated it 
over and over again, I naturally took an intersst in 
you, and the result is — well, I have added quite a little to 
my reputation, or shall, when you make me the medical 
officer on your staff, as I shall expect you to do as soon 
as you get the stars on your shoulders." 

"And I'll do it, doctor," said the young man, heartily. 
"You may count on that." 

" All right," answered the surgeon, jestingly. " Here's 
my card ; so there will be no excuse or delay about the 
matter." 

He handed the young officer a card as he spoke, on 
which was printed : 




" I'll not forget it, and only hope you will not refuse 
to come on my demand. But — what was the other case 
you refer to ?" 

" The other case ? O, yes — the ' forever-and-ever- 
amen,' case. Well, it was a curious one. Let me see," 
he continued, taking out his watch. " I've only got a 
few minutes, but I can give you the main points of it 



OtU of the Darkjiess. 301 

It was while I was at the Institution, you know, just 
about the beginning of the war, a young lady was 
brought there who had only two thoughts left in her 
mind. She would speak — sometimes, not very often — 
but the only word she uttered was * Jack.' " 

There was a groan from the cot. 

"It was hard. I suppose you can sympathize with 
her. I don't think the word meant anything to her, 
though. She just repeated it mechanically. She had 
been at school for years and had overworked herself, 
so that the brain all gave out — was completely dis- 
organized, so far as thought was concerned. She was 
very quiet and gentle ; never made any trouble ; did 
whatever she was set to doing, but did it entirely 
mechanically. She would feed herself if she saw others 
eating, but left her food untouched if she did not. She 
would sew if givena needle and saw a few stitches taken, 
but she sewed right on, whether there was a thread in 
the needle or not. 

" She had been a remarkably fine scholar, I was told, 
but she had forgotten every word in the language except 
' Jack,' and every letter. She did not understand any 
thing that was told her ; would answer no questions 
and did not know her own name or anything else. As 
she improved in health, we tried every means we could 
devise to awaken the slumbering intellect, but all to no 
purpose. We brought her a dog, a cat, a piano, books, 
but nothing could awaken the least sign of recognition 
or interest, and I should have given up the case as 
utterly incurable, but for the fact that we began to find 
scribbled on the books and papers in her room the very 
sentence you kept repeating, ' Forever and ever, Amen.' 

" At first I did not think she did it. I had requested 
her mother to bring me some specimens of her writing. 
It was a fine, sloping, Italian hand, while these sen- 



302 A So7i of Old Harry. 

tences were written in a strong, heavy, almost mascu- 
line, back-hand. We had left pencils about the room, 
for she was so quiet and lady-like, that she had a nice 
room to herself, just to tempt her memory, so to speak. 
She never touched one while awake, but when asleep, 
as we found by watching, she would get up and write 
these sentences, and very often hide them somewhere 
about the room or bed. Queer, wasn't it ?" 

"Very," answered the young man, hoarsely. The 
surgeon did not notice the pallor of the face now wholly 
turned toward the wall. • 

'* That is the curious thing about the insane. No two 
of them are alike. Each one is an independent puzzle 
that has to be solved on its own combination, if at all. 
Well, I tried for weeks to get a clue — find the key to 
that girl's intelligence — but I couldn't do it. Finally I 
concluded that her mind was just a blank. All the 
impressions that had been made on it had been rubbed 
oif . It was still receptive — weakly so it is true, and not 
at all retentive — but after awhile she learned to repeat 
words ; forgetting them, however, in a moment. Then 
she began to notice what happened about her ; a change 
of nurses annoyed her — and one thing after another was 
done to awaken, not her former life and thought — that 
was dead — irretrievably dead — but to establish a new 
intelligence. Curiously enough, the first word she 
repeated with any show of comprehension was 'horse.' 
She was very fond of being driven and even riding 
horseback, for which she seemed to have a natural apti- 
tude. Almost the first thing she did showing connected 
thought was to don her riding-habit, when she saw a 
horse with a side-saddle on it, standing at the gate. 
After a while she spent half her time almost in the sad- 
dle, and for that matter, does so to this day, I am told. 
It made no difference who rode with her so long as he 



Out of the Darkness, 303 

was well-dressed and had a good horse. If he had not, 
she would attach herself to the first gentleman rider she 
met possessing these qualities. It seemed to mate her 
angry to meet another lady riding with a gentleman, 
and she sometimes behaved badly on such occasions. 

" As soon as we found this key to her intelligence, 
however, she improved very rapidly. She learned to 
speak and to write in a few weeks, speaking and writing 
exactly like her preceptors. After six months she was 
discharged, cured ; that is, she was reasonably intelli- 
gent and fairly sane, but she had not recovered, and 
never will recover, any hint of her former life. She 
learned to say * father' and ' mother,' for instance, but 
has never showed any affection for either. Instead of 
that, I and my wife are the real parents of her new life 
— her new intelligence. She has had one or two partial 
relapses — probably always will have them, now and 
then — but a week or a fortnight at the institution fully 
restores her. 

" She was married along in the fall — last fall, that is. 
I went home to the wedding. She was very glad to see 
me, took me all over the new house her father had built 
for her, and appeared to be fond of her husband ; but it 
seemed to me to be rather as a toy than anything else. 
I am afraid she has no clear comprehension of the rela- 
tions between them. I advised against the marriage, 
but my wife favored it. She was afraid something 
might happen to her, you know, and I suppose it was 
best. 1 should be afraid of trouble if that old life should 
ever come back — but it never will. Her husband is a 
very good man, considerably older than she, and as 
gentle with her as if she were a child. Well, I must 

go-" 

" What — did you say her name was ?" 

" Cyvelia King — but she named herself ' Weely,' after 



304 A ^^^^ ^f Old Harry. 

she began to talk, just as a child often does, and is 
always called so by her friends. By the way, her father, 
Marshall King — is with the army here. He is a very 
pushing man, and has done an enormous business buying 
cotton. Perhaps you have met him, being in the cav- 
alry — they say he keeps about half the cavalry of this 
army scouting after cotton. You know there is one regi- 
ment they call ' King's body-guard.' " 

"Yes; I've heard of it. What kind of a looking girl 
— ^lady, I mean — was this — your patient ?" 

" Can't help thinking about her, eh ? Well, I'm glad 
to give you something to think about, besides yourself, 
and this was a queer case. Lucky I've got her picture, 
for I couldn't ever make any headway describing a 
woman. My wife says, that if she should ever get lost 
I would have to get somebody to write out a description, 
if I wanted to advertise her. There she is — don't look 
as if she had lost any of her wits, does she ?" 

He opened a small ambrotype case, which he took 
from his pocket, as he spoke, brushed the dust off it and 
handed it to his patient. The young man raised him- 
self on his elbow to look at it, but instantly fell back, and 
the case would have fallen to the floor had not the sur- 
geon caught it. 

" Hellow ! You musn't risk such sudden changes of 
position," he exclaimed. " Here, take this." He 
pressed a glass to the chattering teeth and white lips of 
the young man. " That was too much exertion after 
my long talk. I must go now, and you must keep very 
quiet. Shall I send Miss Parker to you ?" 

" I suppose you may as well," came faintly from the 
pallid lips. 

" You — ^you will be quiet and — and kind to her ?" 

" Certainly — of course," 

" That's right." 



hi the Toils of Destiny. 305 

The surgeon bustled away, and after a few moments 
Kitty Parker entered. Tears sprang to her eyes as she 
saw a look of recognition in his eyes, and clasping the 
hand he feebly raised from the coverlet in both her own, 
she knelt beside the couch and covered it with tender 
kisses. 



CHAPTER XV. 



IN THE TOILS OF DESTINY. 



What a mocker is Fate ! Hubert Goodwin would 
willingly have doomed himself to celibacy, with only 
the memory of love to cheer his loneliness. He was not 
romantic or sentimental. It was with him as much a 
matter of course that he should love Delia Kincaid as 
that he should live ; and having once loved her, he 
could never cease to love her. Until this moment, it 
had never once crossed his mind that he could ever seem 
to love another ; but he was human, and in a sense fond of 
the charming girl who knelt beside his couch. He had 
written to her, now and then, bright, breezy letters full 
of the camp and the march — the glamour and the charm 
of the soldier's life. He had not thoiight of love, nor 
dreamed that he had inspired it. Kitty Parker was 
bright, piquant, ardent ; not st) intellectual as his old 
playmate, but intelligent and accomplished — fitted to 
adorn any position. That was his estimate of her 
character. In appearance she was not less attractive, 
if estimated by ordinary standards. He had never 
thought of instituting a comparison between them. 



3o6 A Son of Old Harry. 

The one he loved ; the other he liked. That was all 
there was of the matter. 

What is it that makes one nature or one type harmo- 
nize so unmistakably with another ? With Delia 
Kincaid, Hubert Goodwin always felt himself at ease. 
She seemed a part of himself. But this other, not less 
beautiful, whose attractions he confessed, whom he 
respected and admired and whose love had unwittingly 
revealed itself — this woman to whom he owed so much 
— it was very different with her. The touch of her lips 
upon his hand was unfamiliar. Her kisses were hot 
and tremulous ; her tears annoyed him. He confessed 
that the bowed head was shapely, but could he ever 
fondle those dark shining locks ? How the pale golden 
tresses blinded his eyes ! This flushed cheek, the shell- 
like ear, the slender neck, round and firm, with its 
graceful arch — they were all beautiful — but they were 
not his. He would have felt no pang in yielding them 
to another ; nay, he would have deemed another fortu- 
nate in their possession. He even counted it a misfor- 
tune that Fate had mocked him, in the very hour of his 
bereavement, with a love so pure in a shrine so fair. 

He knew it was Fate, however. His love was not 
only his no more, but his very image had been blotted 
from her memory. She had repeated his name — only 
mechanically, however ; it brought no picture to her 
consciousness. She was lost — dead. He was glad it 
was so, if he must lose her. It would have killed him 
to think that she was false, " Forever and ever " had 
been no light vow to him. Why had she been given to 
another ? Even if the soul had fled, he would hav€ 
cherished the precious casket it once informed, with a 
love as tender as when he sealed it with boy-kisses on 
her child-lips. He flushed hot with anger at the thought 
that another hand had profaned its sanctuary with 



\ In the Toils of Destiny. 307 

caresses. But why should he dwell upon it ? Her love 
was dead — its very ashes scattered on the winds of 
oblivion. And life, harsh and real, was before him. 
Fate was inexorable. Honor and gratitude alike 
demanded that he should not spurn the precious spike- 
nard this fair girl had lavished on his insensate form. 
He could not shame the love which had thus unwittingly 
revealed itself. He knew that his fate was sealed even 
while he rebelled against it, 

" You will forgive me — won't you ?" she asked at 
length, lifting her eyes to his face. 

" For what ? For saving my life ?" 

" Oh, I didn't save it ; Doctor Talcott did that ; for 
not sending for your mother sooner ?" 

" Why should you ?" 

"Oh, I ought ; I know I ought. What will she think 
of me ? But I — I did not want to go away. It seemed 
as if I had a right to stay — when I found you after 
everybody else had given you up," 

" So you had," solemnly. 

The girl hushed her sobbing, and her breath came in 
short, quick gasps. What did his words mean — no, 
not the words, the tone ? 

She turned her cheek away, that he should not see 
the hot blood leap up in joyful answer to his summons, 

*' Kitty !" 

" Well ?" softly, doubtfully. She held her breath for 
his response. 

" You will not go away ?" 

Not go away ? Did he mean — much or little ? Did 
he want a wife — or a nurse ? She could not tell. What 
did it matter ? She had shown this man her love. She 
had broken the alabaster box upon his feet and wiped 
them with her hair. He was her lord by open confes- 
sion. Why should she question whether he asked much 



3o8 A Son of Old Harry. 

or little ? If he desired her life, it was his ; if only her 
services, why should she refuse a part, having freely 
given the whole ? So the hot, flushed face was lifted, 
the tearful eyes sought his, and she answered, with bit- 
ter but entire self-abnegation : 

" Not if you wish me to remain," 

" I do." 

It was like an order given to one of his soldiers, and 
like a soldier — none was ever braver — she bowed her 
head in acquiescence ; bowed it upon the hand she held, 
her face turned away from his gaze. Who shall tell her 
disappointment ? She had hoped — ah, for what had she 
not hoped ? Love — passion ? Why not ? She had 
deserved all that man might give. Gratitude was the 
least she could expect. And he was cold — so cold ! 
The hand she held lay inert as death in her fervid 
clasp. He had asked her to remain — to sacrifice her- 
self — her maiden pride for him — almost as if perform- 
ing an unpleasant task. When she looked into his face 
there was no more trace of emotion there than in the 
sculptured features of the Sphinx. But he was not 
himself; he was sick, weak. No matter. She had 
given all when she hoped for no return ; why should 
she shrink now that her expectations were but half ful- 
filled .' She would stay ; she would at least be near him 
until his mother came. That would be one, two — per- 
haps three days. After that — 

It was needless to formulate the alternative. Even 
while she knelt beside him Fate was busy forging the 
links that were to bind them together. A press corres- 
pondent, one of that host of imaginative news-gatherers 
who follow in an army's track, easily wormed out of the 
elate and kindly surgeon the story of his favorite pa- 
tient's recovery, to which he added a pretty tale of 



In the Toils of Destiny. 309 

woman's love — a story which outAives all other phases 
of human experience in universal and perennial charm. 
The correspondent did not, of course, reveal the 
lady's name, but in announcing the discovery and con- 
valescence of a gallant officer who had been mourned 
as dead, he painted as sweet a romance as was ever hung 
on the ferruginous front of war. The news of Hubert 
Goodwin's recovery, and of the devotion of the young 
lady whose love would not let her believe hini dead, 
went out to the world together. There was no longer 
any other course for him to pursue. If Delia Kincaid 
were to come to-morrow, an unwed maiden, to ask ful- 
fillment of his vow, he must in honor offer name and 
hand to the woman whose heart would not rest upon 
uncertainties in respect to his fate. His love he could 
not give her — he had none to bestow. He did not hes- 
itate — but told her the truth, and asked her to be his 
wife. As before, she answered his request with the 
lifeless formula of self-surrender :. 

"If you wish it — to be so," 

There was no elation, no tender exultation in her 
tone. She had longed for love, and her hunger was 
unappeased. Under other circumstances, she would 
not have accepted an empty hand — a hand without a 
heart — but she, too, was bound by Fate. Her secret had 
been wrung from her and published to the world. To 
refuse was not only to proclaim herself discarded, but 
to stain the name of one whose honor was dearer to her 
than life. So, on the heels of the story of their love, came 
the announcement of their marriage. 

Three months* leave of absence was granted the 
young soldier. When it had expired, he was ready for 
duty in his new station. Just before his departure, his 
Tincle said to him one morning, as they sat under the 



3IO A Son of Old Harry. 

great elm in front* of the new mansion, which had 
replaced the old house : 

'* Do you know, I believe I have solved the mystery 
of your getting off the field that night ? It flashed into 
my head as soon as I heard the doctor tell about your 
whistling my old call. What is my theory ? You read 
this, I suppose, when it came out ?" 

He handed his listener a newspaper clipping, worn 
and soiled, as he spoke : 

" The lovers of good horse-flesh will regret to learn 
that the noted horse, Belmont's Abdallah, was stolen 
from the premises of his owner, Mr, James Mosely, on 
Wednesday night, by a squad of men claiming to be 
Confederate soldiers. As Mr. Mosely's Union procli- 
vities are well known, this claim would naturally be 
made by any company of bushwhackers who might see 
fit to plunder his stables. He has often been warned 
that it was folly to keep such valuable stock on disputed 
territory, but until the present advance of Bragg's forces, 
his.property has been undisturbed." 

**Yes, I saw it," answered the young olflcer ; " and 
during Bragg's retreat, while we were scouting in his 
rear, I kept my ears open for any rumor as to Abdallah 's 
whereabouts. In fact, I rode twenty miles one night 
on a false report that he was * hidden out ' at a place in 
the * knob country,' east of Lebanon, but found no trace 
of him." 

" Well, I have, or rather Lieutenant Barclay has," 
answered the uncle. " By the way, I am glad you pro- 
moted Chris. I tried to keep him from going as an 
enlisted man at all. He might have had a commission 
at the start as well as not ; but he was over-modest, 
and besides, had his heart set on going with you. He 



In the Toils of Destiny. 311 

wanted to be a farrier, too. He is proud of his ability 
to shoe a horse, you know, and really thought he could 
do the country more good by using that knowledge 
than in any other way." 

" With good reason, too. I hesitated about promoting 
him on that account, but it has proved to be sound 
policy. Half the efficiency of the regiment is due to the 
fact that he has been permanently detailed to look after 
the horses' hoofs. We rarely have one go lame on the 
march now. There was some murmuring when I gave 
him a first lieutenancy and detailed him as inspector of 
horses, but every one soon recognized its wisdom. If I 
get a cavalry brigade, as I hope I may, I shall take him 
with me." 

" Well, as I was saying, Chris got word from some 
prisoners that a horse of Abdallah's description, belong- 
ing to the colonel of the Second Kentucky Confederate 
Infantry, which was one of the regiments guarding the 
bridge where you made your charge, broke away and 
came over to our side that night. They spoke of it as 
a good joke on the colonel, who had bought the horse of 
some bushwhackers up in Kentucky. They said he evi- 
dently disliked the Rebel service, and made a break for 
the Union lines. Now you see how it all happened ; 
you were delirious and took to whistling our old call ; 
he heard it and answered ; you clambered up on him 
and he brought you inside the lines." 

*' Seems very probable." 

" Oh, there's no doubt about it, Tne horse that 
brought you in was a bay — that's about all that could 
be learned about him from the regiment whose lines 
you entered, except that he was taken possession of by 
an officer who was shot the next day." 

" And that was the last of him ?" 

" Hardly ; just after the battle there was a big cock- 



312 A Son of Old Harry. 

and-bull story in the papers about Mr. Marshall King — 
that's the new name of our old friend of the Corners, 
you know — who was acting as a volunteer aide on some- 
body's staff, being taken prisoner during the second 
day's fight, and getting away and coming back into our 
lines on a Confederate officer's horse, which he had cap- 
tured. Of course, King Marsh or Marsh King, which- 
ever he calls himself, is a good deal of a man, there's no 
mistake about that, and under such circumstances 
would probably take considerable risk. The Confeder- 
ates are not partial to men of his stamp — cotton-thieves, 
as they call them — but such a feat is easier imagined 
than performed, I fancy, and we know he has a very 
able-bodied imagination. Of course, if it was a fact, I 
take it he'd have got a commission before this time — 
though, perhaps, he don't want it — more money in cot- 
ton, I s'pose. But I ran across something this morning 
which shed some new light on the matter." 

He handed the other a newspaper, and pointed to a 
brief paragraph as he spoke : 

" The splendid stallion which was captured by Mr. 
Marshall King at Stone River has been sold to Mr. 
Stokes, of St. Louis, who will put him on a horse ranch 
he is just starting in Colorado. The price paid is said 
to have been a fancy one, it being the general belief 
that the horse is one oi the most noted of trotting sires. 
The West is to be congratulated upon his accession, and 
it is quite possible that it may fall to the lot of his 
progeny to justify the prediction so often made by horse- 
men, that the greatest trotters of the world will be bred 
in a high altitude and a dry climate." 

" It's my notion that's our old Abdallah." 
"I rather think it is." 



Caught by the Undertow. 313 

" Kincaid got him after all, it seems, if he did have 
to steal him twice. I was mighty sorry for you, of 
course," continued the uncle, with an*affectionate look 
at his companion, " but I'm glad now you didn't marry 
into that family. Dee was well enough, but — why, 
what's the matter ?" 

The young man had grown suddenly pale, reeled in 
his chair, and muttered brokenly : 

" Forever and ever !" 

" I declare, it's his old hurt ! Susan ! Kitty ! Come 
here, quick !" 

They found Horace Goodwin supporting his n ephew's 
head, while the young soldier's eyes glared wildly down 
the road, and his white lips repeated over and over : 
"Forever and ever, amen !" But no one thought of 
connecting these words with the vision of a girlish 
figure on a black pony, which had flashed across his 
memory and made the man a boy again. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



CAUGHT BY THE UNDERTOW. 



The close of the war left Hubert Goodwin, like 
many others, in a most unpleasant position. Before 
reaching his prime he had won high honors in a profes- 
sion he must now renounce. What should he do ? 
The American had not then learned to loiter. The 
impulse to achieve was then the controlling force in 
every life, and the young soldier felt the full strength 
of that restless desire for achievement which has built 
up an empire within a possible lifetime. Strangely 



314 -^ <Son of Old Harry. 

enough, he found the avenues of business almost closed 
against him. He was not only a distinguished soldier, 
but a young one. People thought the qualities which 
had given him success in the field would militate against 
him in civil life. He had no aptitude for politics, no 
desire for a professional career. He had capital, energy, 
confidence, luck, so it was said, so the past had proved , 
but no one wished to venture with him. Even Sedley 
seemed to have forgotten his old offer. Perhaps there 
was something of envy in it. It was not pleasant to 
know that the " Sedley Legion " had been almost for- 
gotten, and that the young soldier, whose feet he had 
set so high upon the ladder of preferment at the outset, 
had gone on climbing up without his assistance until 
his fame overshadowed his patron's. He had hardly 
grown a fair mustache when a colonel's eagles graced 
his shoulders, and the corps, which Sedley had created, 
began to be known as " Goodwin's regiment." Nobody 
thought of it as anything else, now. It was known only 
by that and its number. Only by a careful scrutiny of 
the records could one learn who had organized and 
equipped it. 

Hubert Goodwin had seen little of the wife whom Fate 
had given him since their marriage, but he had given 
her the key of his purse and she had used her privilege 
thriftily in his absence. A charming home awaited him 
on his return. His family had taken the brave young 
wife into especial favor. His mother, resenting, as any 
mother would, what she considered the perfidy of his 
first love, had given even more than a daughter's place 
to the wife whom she realized instinctively had less 
than her due share of a husband's affection. She felt 
that in his years of service her son had thought more of 
the love he had lost than of the wife he had won ; but 
she did not know how, in the strange seclusion which 



Caught by the Undertow. 315 

the camp brings, he had turned again toward that 
dream of the past. Closely associated with Doctor 
Talcott, he had learned through the letters of the sur- 
geon's wife everything that had happened to her ; how 
she had grown petulant, morose, and finally so violently 
antipathetic to both her husband and her parents that 
she had come to the physician's house and refused to 
return or hold any communication with her relatives. 
She was quieter there, but took no interest in public 
affairs and showed no memory of her former life. She 
wandered in the grove near the house, rode her horse, 
and seemed to have no thought of the present and no 
care for the future. She would allow herself to be 
called by no name except " Weely," which she often 
repeated over and over to herself for some minutes at a 
time, with a vague, puzzled expression that was new to 
her. The only attention she paid to the announcement 
that her husband had been elected to Congress was to 
remark that she was glad of it, if it would keep him 
away from her. 

Dr. Talcott would say, after each of these letters : 

" Strange as it may seem, I am afraid she will recover. 
That would make trouble. You see, her marriage was 
not really an act of her volition. The woman who 
assented to the marital obligation was quite another 
person — a different consciousness from that which once 
dominated her nature. It seems as if the brain was 
slowly drifting back to its normal condition. If it 
ever reaches it, all that has intervened will be as blank 
to her as her former life is now." 

The kind surgeon did not know that this was rank 
poison to the soul which had pledged itself, '* Forever 
and ever," to that clouded consciousness. 

Each day since his return had driven home to the 
heart of Hubert Goodwin, more clearly than ever before, 



3i6 A Son of Old Harry. 

the terrible fact that he did not love his own wife, bnt 
did love another's with a fervency which time could not 
abate nor absence dull. Long before, he had arrived at 
the conclusion that his marriage was wrong, a sin, al- 
most a crime — not against her he had married, but 
against the other, whom he might not marry — that love 
who was dead and yet alive. He had even begun to 
consider whether there was not some way by which he 
might remedy the wrong. If he could only take the 
poor, stricken life he loved away from her cruel sur- 
roundings, he was sure he could make her happy. He 
did not wish to do wrong, and he would not sully her 
white, half consciousness even with the shadow of shame. 
If he could only be with her, soothe, protect, cheer her 
as if she were his sister ! Ah, he would willingly sub- 
ordinate himself — eliminate, eradicate himself — to give 
happiness, repose, content to the shattered life he loved ! 
It was a dangerous mood for such a compound of con- 
science and recklessness as the son of Theophilus and 
Old Harry. 

For a brief time the bright, sunny home dissipated 
such fancies. Kittie Goodwin did not understand her 
husband. Why should she ? He did not understand 
himself. She feared he would be lonely after the tur- 
moil of the camp, not knowing that among the multi- 
tude of other men- the individual man is lonelier than 
anywhere else. He has then no one to come near his 
heart ; no one to share his life and thought. A man 
dwells always in a zone which only a woman can enter. 
Mother, sister, sweetheart, wife, daughter, friend — some 
relation there must be which brings the complement of 
manhood to his side, or man lives essentially alone. 
Only rarely do two men become so attached that each 
desires the constant companionship of the other. They 
are naturally repellant poles. Cast away upon a desert 



Caught by the Undertow, 317 

island or frozen in upon a polar sea, they become sus- 
picious, resentful, hostile. If one is strong and the other 
weak ; if one demands and the other affords protection 
and support, the mutual aversion may be subordinated 
to this need ; but if both are strong, safety can be found 
only in separation — mutual isolation 

It is not so with woman. Isolation is death to her. 
Left alone, she loses her womanhood ; becomes coarse 
and masculine in appearance and character. Thrown 
near another life, she gravitates toward it by irresistible 
attraction. If any insurmountable barrier prevents inti- 
mate association with man, she turns to her own sex for 
companionship. She is never recluse from preference. 
She does not think out the puzzles of life alone, but feels 
them out with another, or with another submits to them. 
So this young wife, to cure her husband's loneliness, as 
she thought, surrounded him with cheerful society. For 
this she had planned during his absence ; on this she 
relied to keep him near her and win him nearer. The 
new home was full of light and revelry. The famous 
young soldier and his beautiful bride made a center 
around which society in those days of triumph and re- 
joicing clustered as naturally as filings about a magnet. 
She was trying to please, to divert him — to keep him 
from thinking of himself or that shadow which she knew 
hung over his consciousness, the result of his wound. It 
was a sweet, womanly effort. She endeavored to make 
his wealth, his fame, her beauty and attractiveness min- 
ister to his happiness, and hoped thereby to win his love. 

Ah, if she had only known — what woman can never 
know — the heart of man, she would have taken a differ- 
ent course. She would have realized that the gratifica- 
tion of all a man's desires is the surest road to discon. 
tent ; that it is only struggle and the need for struggle 
that keep him on an even keel. He must be doing for 



3i8 A Son of Old Harry. 

himself or another, or he rusts, retrogrades, becomes de- 
moralized. If she had applied the torch to the beautiful 
home ; if, instead of self-helpfulness, she had shown de- 
pendency and demanded care, the result might have 
been different — nay, it would have been. 

This is not said in blame. Save himself and his fate, 
Hubert Goodwin had no one to blame for his acts or 
their consequences ; it may, perhaps, be said in mitiga- 
tion of the condemnation heaped upon him that he 
blamed no one. If he had known his wife's thought, it 
might have been better or it might have been worse. 
As it was, he said to himself, when he saw the sparkle 
in her eye, the flush upon her cheek and the thrill of 
happiness echoing through her tones : 

" This is her life. How happy she is ! I am the 
only blot on the white page. I am deceiving her. 
These things give me no pleasure ; but she thinks I 
enjoy them. I am wronging her by the pretense of 
happiness. She thinks me content ; she believes that I 
love her as she deserves to be loved. I do not ; I can- 
not !" 

Ah, if there had come to him then the need of great 
exertion ! But Fate will not be cheated. While he 
waited, heart-sick and wistful, seeking opportunity, his 
strength panting for demand upon its potency, the day 
of subtle and irresistible temptation was approaching. 

At the close of the war, Horace Goodwin, with justi- 
fiable pride in his success, had said to his nephew : 

" There is no need for you to take any thought for 
the morrow. Here is the result of our joint ven- 
ture." 

Then he made a report of his acquisition, and apprais- 
ing everything at a just value, divided it in twain, and 
deducting only what he had paid on the other's account, 
he handed to the silent partner in his enterprise — on© 



Caught by the Under toz,^ . 319 

moiety of the proceeds. It was a tin box full of 
government securities. The young man turned them 
over curiously. He had known little of the financial 
struggle by which the armies were supplied and the 
nation saved ; so that these crackling sheets of paper, 
with their green lettering, intricately ruled ornament- 
ation and plentitude of blood-red seals, as if a soldier's 
life were the guarantee of each promise which the 
nation made to pay for her deliverance, were to him a 
strange mystery. 

"All you have to do," continued the proud uncle, as 
he showed the result of his sagacious foresight, " is to 
turn the key on those bonds — ^make a special deposit 
where they will be safe ; use the interest as you may 
desire, and their appreciation alone will give you 
a greater profit than most business ventures can be 
made to yield. I hope you are satisfied with my 
stewardship ?" 

*' Satisfied !" was the hearty response, ** I should be 
most unreasonable if I were not. But you are unjust ,• 
you have taken nothing for your expense — your care 
and watchfulness." 

" There you are wrong. Do you not see that what 
we have expended is not in the aggregate ; it has been 
consumed. I have charged you with your expenses up 
to the time you entered the service, and thought, as 
they then ceased, I ought to charge myself with our 
own, but your mother said she was sure you would not 
allow it." 

" Nor would I." 

" Well, I am satisfied if you are ; there is enough for all 
of us ; though I expect to make something more for 
the little ones now and then, as opportunity offers. 
Making money has become a habit, you see. You do 
not think I have been so bad a step-father, Hubert ?" 



320 A Son of Old Harry. 

The young man silently reached forth his hand. 

" I am glad you are not sorry for having followed 
my advice. I was not at all sure I was right, but I 
tried to do what I thought Seth would approve. I only 
thought of you and your mother ; and she only thought 
of you. I don't think you at all realize how closely she 
has followed your steps, and how proud she is of you. 
You were her first child, and all she had to pet and 
care for, until you were almost man-grown. Seth didn't 
give her any chance to show her love for him. We are 
a hard set in that way, we Goodwins ; we like to give, 
but will not take. When you went off to school, I 
thought she would cry her eyes out ; but you never 
seemed to think she could be unhappy. I don't believe 
your letters had a word of sympathy in them." 

" But she had you, lincle." 

" Me ! A nice pet I was, to be sure ! Of course, I 
loved her — always had, for that matter, I believe — but 
she would as soon have thought of loving a polar bear. 
She wanted somebody to whose existence her love was 
a necessity. She thought it was to you, until you went 
away from her so contentedly. Of course, the children 
have helped to console her, but they haven't taken your 
place — never will. You are her child, her pride. I 
really believe it would kill her if anything should hap- 
pen to you ; if you should go to the bad, you know, as 
we're both likely to, having the mark." 

Horace Goodwin spoke with a prescient apprehension 
which startled his listener. 

" What are you going to do ?" he asked after a 
moment. 

" I don't — know," came the hesitant answer. 

" You must not be idle ; it is death to a Goodwin. 
Why don't you go West and look around .?" 

" I thi^k I will," meditatively. 



Caught by the Ufidertow. 321 

Ah, watchful guardian, it was a cruel thing for Fate 
to make you the instrument of woe ! 

The blow came very soon. The wife had no premoni- 
tion. 

One morning, she found on her dressing-table a note : 

" Kitty : I am going away, I do not know where 
nor when I shall return, if ever. There is no excuse 
for the course I have taken, and I cannot hope for your 
forgiveness nor to retain your respect. Not to soften 
your resentment but to testify my regard, I give you the 
major part of my estate. 

" Trusting that you will forget me, and be happier 
than you could hope to be if I remained, I bid you good- 
bye, " Hubert Goodwin." 

It was the last time but one that he ever subscribed 
his name. These two signatures transformed an honor- 
able patronymic into a blazon of eternal shame. 

Upon her husband's desk, Kitty Goodwin found the 
key of his strong-box and a deed to its contents. He 
had taken with him one-third of the capital. The house 
was hers. The deserted wife was rich, young and fair. 
She did not know how soon she was also to be a widow. 
She did not know that two days before there came a let- 
ter from Doctor Talcott, saying : " The poor lady whom 
you wot of is no better. She wanders about, calling 
with plaintive eagerness for 'Jack! Jack! Jack!' — a 
word which is the one remembered fact of a past she 
will never find again." 



CHAPTER XVII. 

A FORSWORN KNIGHT. 

The life I have depicted lies so far away from that 
which followed, that its events seem to have occurred 
to another. For this reason, I have told them in the 
third person. Even now, when my mind has dwelt for 
weeks upon the retrospect, I can hardly realize that it 
was I who bore the name of Hubert Goodwin, an-d my 
wife that was abandoned in the pleasant home while I 
sped westward with only one thought in my heart — to 
answer that yearning cry for my lost love. It had been 
ringing in my ears ever since I read my friend's letter : 
" Jack ! Jack !" I heard it every moment, night and day 
— for I could not sleep — the throbbing engine called 
me and the singing rails echoed the cry, " Jack ! Jack !" 

I had no plan, no purpose, only to get to her side. I 
had acted deliberately from a dull, stolid conviction 
that the course I was taking would separate me finally 
from my wife. I did not greatly care, if it did. For 
myself I had no feeling except a certain sense of humili- 
ation. I knew I was doing her injustice and bringing 
discredit on myself. These things I felt keenly. The 
old Goodwin pride was not dead, thoiigh the terrible 
throbbing pain in my head — the pain which had always 
marked the spot where the operation had been per- 
formed — almost drove it from my mind. It was a 



A Forsivom Knight. 323 

strange delusion, but all the time I had the thought 
that if I could only find Dee — if I could once touch her 
hand and look into her eyes, she would know me ; her 
old life would come back and this terrible depressing 
pain would disappear. And then — but I did not go 
any farther. I did not care to imagine what might hap- 
pen then. So I fled, sullen and desperate, but never 
once relenting in my purpose, from honor to shame — 
from life to death. 

I did not need to ask the way to Doctor Talcott's 
when I left the train at Wis wall Station. I knew he 
lived five miles out on the road to Good Cheer, which 
was as far on the other side. His place was called 
Heart's Ease, and embraced a beautiful lake with a 
romantic wooded outlet, called the Glen. This property 
he intended to convert into a summer resort and sani- 
tarium. Lying between two great lines of railroad, in 
a region where the eternal sunshine of the prairie makes 
the relief of shade and the music of falling water espe- 
. cially grateful to overworn nerves, the good doctor 
believed that in this bit of shaded waterfall and quiet 
stretch of willow-bordered lake, he had not only health 
and comfort, but that inevitable fortune of which every 
American dreams. Over and over again I had listened 
to his plans^ for its development. I am glad to say his 
dreams have all been fulfilled. 

I merely asked the livery -keeper, from whom I hired 
a rig, the road to Good Cheer. As God is my judge, I 
had no thought of what would happen on that eventful 
day. I intended merely to get a glimpse of her — and 
then go away. I will not deny that I hoped she would 
recognize me, or that I confidently expected her to do 
so ; but I had no thought of anything more. I wished 
to let her know that she had my sympathy — that I still 
loved her. I did not conceal from myself that I had 



324 A Soil of Old Harry. 

no right to do even this. I was another woman's hus- 
band, she another man's wife. The double barrier 
between us I fully recognized. If I were willing to 
plunge myself into shame, I had no right to drag her 
down with me, and did not mean to do so. 

It was a bright day in October. The dark, hard 
road lay straight and level between brown, dry fields, 
bordered with struggling osage orange hedges. Coun- 
try homes, bursting cribs, eastward-sloping wind- 
breaks, black cornfields with ripe ears hanging down 
and gatherers at work in them, or sleek flocks browsing 
among the broken stalks for neglected ears, hardly 
relieved its flat monotony. The horse was one of those 
even-going, hard-hoofed roadsters, with which a prairie 
country always abounds. His pace did not seem rapid, 
and I was surprised to find in half an hour the dun, 
stunted grove of the Glen rising just before me, and 
catch a glint of the little lake through the half -bare 
branches. On the other side of the Glen, and a half- 
mile above, I could see the unpainted roof of the new 
building I had been told the doctor was erecting at 
Heart's Ease. 

The sun was very warm, but not warm enough to 
account for the perspiration that poured down my face. 
My heel burned as if in a clamp of red-hot iron. I felt 
that I was going to my doom, yet I was powerless to turn 
back. In truth, I did not wish to if it were possible that 
I might give her any pleasure. I was willing to endure 
anything for her sake, but this did not make the agony 
I suffered any less. I drew up at the top of the bank 
where the road slopes down into the narrow gorge, and 
thought of all these things. The bright blue sky was 
without a cloud. 

I could hear the hammers of the men at work on the 
new building across the ravine. The strong-limbed 



A Forsworn Knight, 325 

chestnut pulled upon the rein and pawed the ground 
impatiently. Should I go on or return ? 

I did not know what would happen. I had formed 
no plans, except that I would see her. But suppose she 
recognized me ; suppose she appealed to my love — 
implored my protection ? I knew that if she did I would 
trample honor under my feet and become, from that 
moment, an outcast among men. Should I go forward 
or back — back to the wife I had abandoned or forward 
to the love who had been torn from my arms ? I 
thought it all over — my father's hope, my mother's 
trust, my uncle's loving pride, my wife's happiness — it 
was strange I did not think of her love. I realize now 
that I had never gotten over a sort of resentment at the 
fate which bound us together. I knew she loved me, 
but had never comprehended the depth of her devotion. 
It had never occurred to me that, even as I loved 
another, so did she love me ; that knowledge was yet to 
come. The hot blood mounted to my face, and I put 
my hands over my eyes to shut out the sunlight, as I 
thought how, only a week before, my old friend, Doctor 
Neuman, had asked me if I felt no inclination to return 
to the profession I had abandoned — had told me of the 
good I might do, of the need of reapers in the great 
white harvest-fields, of my father's aspiration, of the 
prayers which had gone up for me in the days of battle, 
and the joy of many hearts that, from the midst of 
temptation, I had come forth unscathed. 

How these thoughts stung and blistered and shriv- 
eled my heart ! But all about me in the golden sun- 
shine, echoing from the blue vault above, from the rus- 
set-lined gorge below, in the strokes of the workmen, in 
the roar of the waterfall, came the imploring, abjuring 
cry, " Forever and ever. Amen !" A white face swam 
before my close-shut eyes, white and wan and appeal- 



326 A Son of Old Harry. 

ing, with golden tresses, wax-like, wraith-like, drooping 
with the unutterable agony of helplessness and despair, 
A fresh breeze came over the flat, pitiless prairie, rustled 
the yellow corn-husks on the one side and the brown 
oak-leaves upon the other, and each one whispered and 
wailed : " Forever ! Forever !" 

How the patched place upon my skull throbbed and 
beat ! The whole world seemed pressing down upon 
my brain. My head was full of phosphorescent light. 
And the Goodwins were proud — so proud of their good 
name ! My life had been honorable, and I had had the 
devil's luck. Now I must pay the devil's price, 

I caught the whip from the socket and gave the horse 
a savage cut. He dashed madly down the sharp incline. 
The swift motion pleased me, I laughed at the bank 
and the trees as they flew backward. Would the buggy 
upset and dash me down — down to death on the rocks 
below ? I hoped so. I struck the horse again ; the 
buggy balanced on two wheels as we turned toward the 
narrow bridge that spanned the white torrent-bed which 
the shallow water spread itself lazily half-way across. 
The frail structure swayed beneath the spuming feet, 
and the rattling echoes raced up and down the Glen as 
we flew over it. The road turned sharply to the right 
and climbed up the other side of the gorge at a grade 
even heavier than that which we had descended. There 
was a wall upon the left, somewhat higher than the wheels 
of the carriage — a parapet built to restrain the slaty 
earth above. The rush had calmed my excitement. 
Something seemed to have given way in my brain. 
The wild, throbbing, desperate pain which marked the 
location of the trephine was gone — gone forever, as I 
learned — and I felt strangely light, exultant, free ; reck- 
less, perhaps, I might better say. The past was not 
forgotten, but seemed dim and remote. The steep 



A Forszvorn Knight. 327 

grade was telling on the horse ; his pace fell first to a 
trot, and then to a labored, wheezing walk. His flanks 
were covered with foam. The sun beat down fierce and 
hot in the windless ravine. 

"Jack! Jack!" 

A gray figure sprang from the ground a dozen steps 
away, and in an instant stood balanced on the wall by 
the roadside. I checked the horse in amazement. 
There was a rush of garments, and a woman lighted 
like a bird in the buggy by my side. The horse started, 
but was too much fagged to run, and, after a few steps, 
resumed his hurried, frightened walk. 

" I'm all right," she whispered, seating herself com- 
posedly. " Let him go." 

I hastily soothed the horse with my voice. 

" Jack ?" she said, inquiringly, turning her head toward 
me. "Jack ! Jack I" she repeated wildly, flinging her 
arms about my neck. 

Ah ! How they choked me ! Or was it the heart- 
beats ? I knew I had met my doom. Nay ! I was 
already in perdition ! Yet I had no wish to turn back. 

We were approaching the top of the gorge. I remem- 
bered having heard that the road to Good Cheer ran 
along the " section-line " a considerable distance from 
the house. I put up the carriage-top, drew the dust- 
cloth over her lap and took the right-hand road. 

The die was cast ! I no longer felt sorrow, shame or 
dread. She was with me ! 

" Jack ! Jack !" she continued to repeat, as she 
sobbed hysterically on my shoulder, 

" Dee," I said tenderly, when we had passed the house 
and had only the open prairie before us again — " poor 
little Dee !" 

I heard the workmen's hammers ring behind us as I 



328 A Soil of Old Harry. 

spoke. I took the reins in my right hand and clasped 
my left arm about her. 

" Don't scold Weely," she said, shrinking away and 
looking half -timorously, half-reproachfully up into my 
face. My excited tone had frightened her. 

What was it made the cold sweat start out from every 
pore ? This was not she whom I sought. The features 
were the same, the eyes the same, but another, a differ- 
ent intelligence was in them. The voice had changed, 
too ; there were the same tones, but of a different qual- 
ity. It seemed as if another being looked through the 
shallow, wavering eyes ; some soulless automaton moved 
the lips that used to smile upon me when they spoke. 
The hair, too — it had partly fallen down, and had that 
visibly snaky look so characteristic of the insane. 

*' Deely ! Dee ! Dee ! Don't you know me ? Don't 
you remember Jack ?" I cried, in agony, striving to 
awaken the consciousness I would not believe could be 
dead to my entreaty. 

A troubled expression came upon her face. She 
seemed to be listening to something very far away — a 
voice she could dimly hear or was unable to recognize. 

** Jack ?" she cried, with pathetic inquiry, looking not 
into my face but past it. " Jack ! Jack !" she repeated ; 
but there was no hint of recognition in her tones. 

I bowed my head in shame and horror. What had I 
done ? For what had I bartered manhood — honor — the 
esteem of all? A crazy woman's senseless cry had 
dragged me down to perdition. Strange enough, it did 
not once occur to me that what had been done might 
easily be undone, that I might drive back to Heart's 
Ease, and by telling only the truth, hide forever all sus- 
picion of the truth. 1 had set out to give my life for her 
happiness. I did not think it material whether her de- 
sire was rational or insane. So when she asked in that 



A Forsiuorii Knight. 329 

horrible, mechanical tone, but with a bright, interested 
look : " Are we going to Good Cheer ?" I nodded af- 
firmatively. 

" How good ! It is five miles," she said, contentedly. 
" Shall we take the cars ?" 

I looked at my watch. A train would pass there in an 
hour going east. 

" Would you like to ?" I asked. 

She started at the sound of my voice, and looked at 
me with curious inquiry. 

"Jack!" she moaned, plaintively. "Jack! Jack! 
Jack!" 

The last words sank to a whisper. 

" Where would you like to go ?" 

"Anywhere," she answered brightly again — "any- 
where. How good !" 

Then her eyes became dreamy, and she repeated, 
softly : " Jack ! Jack ! Jack !" 

" To Dubuque ?" I asked. 

It was there her husband lived. 

"No !" she exclaimed, excitedly. Her brows knotted, 
and she turned and spat angrily toward the roadside. 
" No ! No !" she repeated. 

There was a moment's silence, and then came again 
the plaintive cry : 

"Jack! Jack! Jack!" 

How my heart ached ! Had she been calling me day 
and night for all these years ? What were honor, rank, 
esteem in comparison with her poor heart's content ? 
Hereafter she should never call for me in vain. But 
what should I do with her ? She would attract the at- 
tention of every one we met. Thinking perhaps my 
voice had stirred her memory and made her unusually 
excited, I tried to disguise it, and said, in a very differ- 
ent tone : 



330 A Son of Old Hari'y. 

" If you go on the train you must be very quiet." 

She looked inquiringly at me an instant, as if a little 
disturbed by my presence, and then answered, lightly : 

" Oh, I will ; you know I always am. I do like to 
travel. Shall we go in a sleeper? I never was in a 
sleeper — but once. How good !" 

The childish sentences pained me not less than the 
eager look which accompanied them, but most of all the 
senseless phrase of acknowledgment. Presently I 
noticed that her lips were moving, and heard her saying, 
below her breath : 

" Jack ! Jack ! Jack !" 

How many times had she called me in the silent years 
since we parted ? I vowed then again to remain with 
her " Forever and ever !" I did not say until she was 
dead, for I knew I could never go back to the life I 
had abandoned. 

It was ten minutes of train-time when we reached the 
station. At my suggestion she had put up her hair 
with all her old grace and deftness. I could not touch 
it. It was like the locks of the dead to me. I assisted 
her from the buggy, gave the driver of a waiting omni- 
bus the price he asked to return the horse to Wiswall 
Station, and taking my overcoat, umbrella and gripsack 
entered the station with Dee at my side. I gave her 
the light overcoat to carry — a woman looks strangely 
uncomfortable with nothing in her hands when travel- 
ing. I bought tickets to Chicago. The seats in the 
sleeping-car were all occupied except the state-room ; 
so I took that. She was full of childish wonder at 
everything she saw, asking the same questions often 
over and over again. 

It was nearly dark when we reached a station where 
the train stopped for supper. It was a junction with 
another great trunk line leading south westward. As.we 



A Forsworn Knight. 331 

steamed into the depot I saw a train upon the track 
beyond the station headed the other way. My plan was 
taken in an instant. I did not know where it was going ; 
I did not care. When our train slowed up, I took my 
companion by the hand and started to get off. She 
followed me gladly. There was a great crowd rushing 
back and forth. The gong was sounding ; parties were 
shouting ; the station-lamps glared ; the steam hissed, 
and all was confusion. The porter said, as he helped 
us from the train, that it would wait twenty minutes for 
supper. He advised that we should leave our luggage 
in the car. I pretended not to hear him. There was a 
good reason why I should not. Dee's eyes were roving 
about the unaccustomed scene, not wildly, but with that 
uncomprehending eagerness which more surely tells of 
a brain diseased. Tucking her hand under my arm, I 
hurried through the crowded station and secured seats 
on the other train . Then I went back, procured tickets 
to the western terminus of the road, ordered a porter to 
bring us refreshments, and while she ate, indited a note 
to Doctor Talcott informing him of what had occurred. 
I thought it only just that I should relieve him both 
from anxiety and imputation. It was well I did so. 
That letter was the last vestige of my old life. Since I 
dropped it in the letter-box of the Junction no hint or 
trace of Hubert Goodwin has been found by any one 
who knew him while alive. The tree of my lirst life had 
grown thriftily and straight, its branches decked with 
honorable deeds and rare good fortune. It had flowered 
and fruited with golden promise. Alas ! they were 
apples of Sodom — ashes and doom. 

All night long she leaned her golden head against my 
breast and slept, while the train rumbled on into the 
darkness. A storm raged without ; one more terrible 
still raged in my bosom. She was ignorant of both. 



;^^2 A Son of Old Harry. 

The train was crowded. The great Eastera hive was 
swarming out on the yet unoccupied Western plains. 
As the night crept on, the strange silence which never 
prevails where the habitations of man are frequent 
settled down upon us. We were passing over the almost 
unsettled prairies, which were so soon to become the 
seat of empire. The engine throbbed, the wheels 
rolled on through the silence while I thought out my 
destiny. The past was dead — how dead I did not know. 
The future had no ray of light. Even love was dead. 
I thought I could not love the woman who slept in my 
arms so peacefully. The fiercest passion could not look 
into her eyes and live. Pity was the strongest senti- 
ment she could evoke, and I did pity her tenderly and 
truly. As I caught sight of her sleeping face, now and 
then, by the light of the flickering car-lamp, I knew that 
destiny had linked me with her doom irrevocably. 
Fate had made her my sister ; shame and folly, per- 
haps sin, had made me her protector. Whatever I 
had been before, I recognized the fact that thereafter I 
could be only the wind-break of this shadowy existence. 
I might shield her from the storms of life ; beyond that 
I had no future. 

Had it been possible, I think I might even then have 
been tempted to retrace my steps. Strange as it may 
seem, for the first time I thought that night regretfully 
of my wife in her deserted home, and of the life I had 
voluntarily broken in twain. The pain in my head, 
which had hardly left me since conscioi^sness returned 
after my wound, was gone. I had felt none of it since 
that mad ride through the gorge at Heart's Ease. Yet 
the suffering of that night it is impossible to describe. 
While she slept I bent above her, my hat drawn down 
over my eyes, my face burning and chill by turns, but 
wet with drops of unutterable agony. It was as if 1 



A Forsworn Knight. 333 

had just waked out of a fevered dream, to know that by 
my own frenzied act in that half-conscious state I had 
cut myself off forever from all hope of happiness. 

I had strange dreams in those fevered hours. At one 
time I thought I would return next day, deliver her 
to her husband and go back again to my old life; 
perhaps I might wire Doctor Talcott and the escape o- 
his patient thus be kept secret. Could I do it ? Would her 
husband receive her back from my hands ? She was as 
spotless as when I first kissed her child-lips so long ago. 
I could not kiss her lips now. In all the long hours of 
that terrible night I felt no inclination to once touch the 
parted leaflets which smiled and quivered as she slept 
and dreamed upon my breast. I had no wish to possess 
what I had so long yearned to enjoy. I knew it could 
not be. The world would not permit either the 
wronged husband or the deserted wife to forgive. My 
story would be laughed at. Why should it not be ? It 
now seemed incredible even to me. So, I beat around 
the cruel circle of my Fate, coming always to the same 
conclusion ; no backward step was possible ; we must 
go forward, she and I, and hand in hand. 

Before the morning dawned, I had decided what 
should be done, I would bury the dead past and we 
two would live alone, a new life in a new world. She 
should be my sister. I would live for her, care for her, 
acquire for her. She should have comfort, tenderness, 
love — such love as one gives to things unconscious or 
superhuman. I would live by her side, and when the 
end came to her, would bury the rest of my shattered 
life in oblivion. But I determined that I would never 
wear the old name. No future act should add to the 
infamy I had already heaped upon it — the dear old name 
of which I had been so proud ! I bent and kissed the 
fair brow of the sleeper as I reached this conclusion, 



334 ^ '^^^^ ^f ^^^ Harry. 

little dreaming how Fate had joined hands with my pur- 
pose and wrought for me in those bitter hours of dark- 
ness. 

The sun was shining over the gray shimmering aut- 
umn prairies as we steamed into an infant metropolis 
of the plains. 

"Paper? Morning NewsT^ cried an enterprising lad 
who boarded the train before it reached the station. 
"All about the big cyclone !" 

I bought a copy and ran my eyes hastily over the 
news columns, trembling lest my shame had already be- 
come public. Sure enough, there it was in glaring 
capitals : 

" General Goodwin, the Brilliant Cavalry Leader 

WHO LEFT HIS HOME IN THE EaST SO MYSTERIOUSLY A 
FEW DAYS AGO, StEALS THE WiFE OF THE HoN. RaN- 

som howe from a private asylum for the 
Insane !" 

" The Guilty Couple take Passage for Chicago on a 
Train which is Wrecked by a Cyclone, and are 
Both Killed !" 

"Terrible Cyclone in Iowa, Sweeping Through into 
Northern Illinois !" 

My brain was in a whirl as I read. The train on 
which we had taken passage for Chicago had run into 
the cyclone which devastated three States that sultry 
autumn night ; the sleeper attached to it had been 
blown from the track and caught fire and burned, with 
all on board. It was known that we had taken this 
train, and not known that we had left it. We were in- 
deed dead — dead to all the world except ourselves. 



A Forsworn Knight. 335 

Nay, to all except myself ; the fair creature who, wak- 
ing from undisturbed repose, was watching with childish 
eagerness all that went on about her, did not count. 
She had died before. And now we were alone — the 
dead with his dead. 

It flashed upon me in an instant. I had only to accept 
the boon that Fate held out — enter the grave that had 
been prepared for me — and the tide of shame would 
sweep harmlessly above me. There would be need of 
such shelter, as I well knew. The very journal in my 
trembling hands reeked with denunciation of my infamy. 
How I pitied the poor wife who alone would be left to 
meet its force ! And the Goodwins — the Goodwins who 
were so pVoud ! My brain reeled ! 

But I knew I must act quickly. Already it seemed as 
if a score of suspicious glances were fixed upon me. I 
fancied that I heard my name bandied from one to an- 
other — the name I loved — of which I was so proud ! I 
must never answer to it again, never show any interest 
should it be mentioned in my presence ! I must have 
another. Where should I get it ? What should I call 
myself ? A thousand names flashed through my brain. 
Which should I choose ? 

But first we must leave the train. It would not do to 
risk detection by traveling longer with those who had 
been our fellow-passengers from the Junction. 

" Come ! " I said hurriedly to my companion, gathering 
up our things. 

"Are we going to stop here?" she asked in pleased 
surprise. " How good.! Jack ! Jack !" she began in her 
low, wailing cry. 

I turned and looked at her sharply, reprovingly. 

" How good ! How good !" she murmured apologeti- 
cally . 



336 A Son of Old Harry. 

As we rode from the station she kept repeating these 
words alternately in half- audible whispers. 

"Jack! Jack! How good ! How good !" 

I was busy with my thoughts, and paid no heed to her 
words. 

When we reached the hotel and I stood pen in hand 
before the register, they flashed upon my consciousness 
and I wrote : 

"John Howgood and sister." 

I could not help smiling at the contrast between the 
name I had assumed and the one the world had given 
me that morning. When I glanced in the mirror in the 
hotel parlor where I left her, I saw that my, hair was 
streaked with gray. In a week, it was almost white. 
I let my beard grow. It was white also. I gave out 
that I had brought my sister to the city for treatment, 
and was fortunate in finding a quiet lodging and secur- 
ing a bright, strong-armed French girl> whom the ebb of 
fortune had just then cast adrift in the city, to attend 
upon her. She was faithful, tender-hearted, and spoke 
so little English that there was small danger that she 
would tell what she might learn, or guess at what she 
did not know. There was not much to fear. We were 
new beings in a new world ; nameless but for the 
pseudonym the irony of her unconscious repetition 
bestowed. Yet into this new world love entered, and 
with it hope. I determined to attempt her restoration, 
and began very soon to people a possible future with 
bright visions of a love no past should disturb. 

It seemed an easy task. There was only a little way 
between her sprightly consciousness and that strange 
sequence of ideas which we call sanity, and I wondered 
that those who had had her in charge had not long ago 
found a way over the impalpable barrier which sep- 
arated them. But I soon found that her poor brain was 



A Forsivorn Knight. 'x,'^^ 

like the sands of the seashore. However fair and 
plain a thought might be written on it to-day, it was a 
blank upon the morrow. A few every-day facts seemed 
weakly impressed upon it. 

She was quiet, modest, docile, and ever anxious to 
please. She was very fond of having one read aloud to 
her, but cared little what the book might be, only pre- 
ferring poetry or prose of a metric or sonorous 
character. Like a little child, she was vain of her ability 
to read ; an act which consisted of a ready and correct 
pronunciation of the words upon a printed page with- 
out the least comprehension of their significance, or 
rather without any coherent sense of the succession of 
ideas presented by them. This verbal recollection I had 
often heard Doctor Talcott refer to as one of the strange 
phases of her ailment. He connected it somehow with 
her previous linguistic ability, which had been very 
noticeable, and thought this had created a sort of 
instinctive mechanical aptitude for verbal forms, just as 
persons of weak minds sometimes possess remarkable 
arithmetical powers without any comprehension of the 
problems they solve or the significance even of the 
numbers they use. While she pronounced most words 
correctly, her enunciation showed that she had no com- 
prehension of their import — she pronounced rather than 
read, and never opened a book except to display this 
faculty. 

I did not murmur at the task I had assumed, counting 
no penance too great for the wrong I had done. Besides 
that, she was all alone in the world. There was no one 
else to whom her darkened soul could appeal, for I alone 
knew that she lived. Her mother had died a year after 
her daughter's marriage, and her father married again 
and entered upon a new life in which she was hardly 
included. He was one of the great army of speculators 



338 A Son of Old Harry. 

who seized upon the opportunities of that wonderful 
West which sprang into existence with the return of 
peace after the turmoil of civil war. I do not doubt that 
her supposed death was a matter of relief rather than of 
sorrow to him ; not that he failed in affection for her, 
but he was one of those men whose schemes absorb all 
their thought. 

In seeking to effect her restoration, my conversations 
with Doctor Talcott in the old days proved to be of the 
greatest service. Absolute seclusion from all exciting 
association, good health, fresh air, absence of restraint, 
and the constant presence of a sympathetic nature, 
offered, he was accustomed to say, the only ameliorat- 
ing influences in such cases as hers. If one could man- 
age to start the long unused intellectual machinery 
without shock, the probability was that it would con- 
tinue to work on without future aberration. Relapse, 
I had often heard him declare, was almost sure to prove 
fatal or result in absolute hopeless amenia ; and there 
was nothing so likely to produce such a relapse as a too 
sudden or too complete knowledge of what her condi- 
tion had been, and what had occurred in the interval of 
unconsciousness. 

Never before had I been especially grateful for the 
abundance which had fallen to my lot. Now I dedi- 
cated it to her, and determined to spare no effort to 
effect her restoration. I could not yet abandon the idea 
that she would some time recognize my presence and 
respond to my prayer ; for I forgot all else in the 
impenetrable oblivion which had fallen upon us, and 
looked forward only to life and love with her. For a 
time I fancied I perceived signs of amendment. She 
had readily associated my name with my presence, and 
called me Jack in the same careless tone with which she 
spoke to others who were frequently with her, and 



A Forsworn Knight. 



339 



though she seemed to half forget the name during my 
absences, she recalled it, as she did not any other, with- 
out assistance. I spent as much time with her as I 
could, but soon became aware that something more than 
temporary arrangements must be made for her care and 
exclusion from sights and sounds which diverted her 
attention and rendered my best efforts abortive. 




PART THIRD— JOHN HOWGOOD. 
CHAPTER I. 



BY FORCE OF LAW. 

" Away back in the sixties," as the phrase is in the 
" Centennial " State, John H. Howgood bought property 
in Denver. 

The Queen City of the Plains was hardly more than 
a possibility then. It was a hopeful possibility, how- 
ever. The reaction had set in aftef the subsidence of 
the Pike's Peak "boom." The close of the war and the 
fact that three great railroads were already looking 
toward it as the rallying-point of prospective prosperity 
made its great expectations seem wonderfully near to 
the elastic-spirited adventurers who had staked out a 
desert-Venice — a metropolis unique in character and in 
insularity — under the shadow of the white mountain- 
peaks, where the Platte debouches from its granite 
gorge and bravely begins its doubtful journey over the 
shimmering plains. The cloudless air of the high pla- 
teau plays curious freaks, not only with the eyes but 
with the imagination also, discounting time as well as 
distance, and bringing the future as well as the moun- 
tain very close to the hopeful observer. So while the 
embryo metropolis was at that time hardly more than 
staked out, it was staked out a great way and in imagin- 



By Force of Law. 34 t 

ation built up to the very limit of the map which daz- 
zled the eyes of, the incredulous " tenderfoot." Still, a 
little money went a good way then, even in the pur- 
chase of corner-lots, and John Howgood — " Old How- 
good," as he soon came to be called — seemed to have a 
fancy for corner-lots, and a confidence in the future of 
the undeveloped Queen City which staggered the enthu- 
siasm of even the " oldest settlers." It soon became 
apparent that he had "struck the thin edge" of a new 
"boom." The mere accession of adventurous spirits 
whom the end of the war had set free to find new homes 
and build new empires, would, no doubt, of itself have 
proved sufficient to have entitled the Territory to a 
place in the galaxy of States a decade later ; but the 
general belief in her yet almost undeveloped mineral 
resources was doing very much to revive the depression 
which followed upon the exhaustion of the original 
" Pike's Peak " gulches. 

Even in this infant city, however, there were few who 
could boast any personal knowledge of the new inves- 
tor. He had boarded for a time at a hotel and had a 
box at the post-office. That was about as near a loca- 
tion as he made. All negotiations with him were by 
letter, or, after a time, with his agent, who lived in a 
modest one-story house on what it was expected would 
some time be a corner, to be bounded by streets yet 
undiscoverable, except with the aid of a map and a sur- 
veyor's compass. Whenever an agreement was reached 
with him in regard to any particular property, the mat- 
ter was referred to his attorney to examine the title, 
and a draft given payable to his order, to conclude the 
purchase. 

Other things as well as his invisibility aided to estab- 
lish for Mr. Howgood a reputation for eccentricity. He 
never gave more than he first offered for property, and 



342 A Sou of Old Harry. 

never made a second proffer for the same premises. 
Nobody knew where he was from, what were his ante- 
cedents, or how much he was worth. To tell the exact 
truth, nobody cared much except as to the latter. The 
people of the new territory were very lenient about 
some things. No man was asked for a certificate of 
character. Individuals, like money, passed at their face 
value. If they chose to " bank " upon the past, it added 
little to their credit. A man's name was of no more 
consequence than the house he lived in, and this no 
more important than the coat he wore. If he chose to' 
make acquaintances, well and good ; if he chose to " live 
in his hole," nobody intruded on his privacy. There 
were too many failures and too many shaky reputations 
in the budding metropolis to make society especially 
heedful of the character of its new accessions. Every 
" tenderfoot" counted one, and was welcome. If he 
grew too troublesome, he was given a hint to move on. 
If he obeyed, well and good ; if he did not — well, there 
was always "the bridge." And there was, also, always 
an overwhelming majority on the side of the public in- 
terest, if not of public morals. It would not do for a 
town to be too bad, any more than it would do to have 
it too — too nice. 

Assimilation was easy with such a population, and 
Howgood, despite his whimsicalities, was soon recog- 
nized as an enterprising citizen, against whom, as noth- 
ing was known, nothing was said. Estimated by the 
market value of the lots standing in his name, he was 
soon accounted rich. The fact that no mortgage was 
recorded against him greatly enhanced his reputation. 
Time passes quickly in such communities, and the " ten- 
derfoot " becomes an " old resident " almost before he 
knows it. " Old Howgood " was a ** well-known citizen " 



By Force of Law. 343 

in a few months, and after the lapse of a year or so, was 
esteemed one of the " substantial men " of the city. 

About this time an incident occurred which for a day 
or two drew on him the attention of the town. The 
" very oldest " residents still speak of it as *' the fight 
over an initial." There was another John H. Howgood, 
it appears, who was known to live in a very unpreten- 
tious house away out on the bluffs, where the streets 
were then quite undiscoverable. He was a quiet, in- 
offensive young man who did nothing ; owned only the 
place he lived on, and supported a feeble-minded sister 
and her attendant — nobody knew how. He paid for 
what he got, and was devoted to the sister, who was 
never seen abroad except on horseback in his company. 
" Old Howgood " quarreled with this man on account of 
his name. 

Of course, letters directed to John H, Howgood or to 
J, H. Howgood were as likely to fall into the possession 
of the one as the other ; and, equally, of course, each 
one was likely to open the letters he received, and so 
become possessed of the other's secrets. The modest 
dweller on what has since become famous as Capitol 
Hill made no objection to this, but " Old Howgood " 
raised a row. He wrote to the postmaster, to the de- 
partment, to his namesake and to the newspapers about 
it. But the young John H. Howgood was as stubborn 
as the old one. The whole city laughed, and the con- 
fusion continued. At length the capitalist had his name 
changed, by special act of the Territorial Legislature, to 
plain John Howgood, giving due notice of the same. 
The transaction created some amusement, but was 
looked upon as one of " Old Howgood's " whims. An 
attested copy of the act was filed in all the public offices, 
and made a matter of record in every county of the 
Territory. 



344 ^ -^^'^ ^f ^^^ Harry. 

Soon after this, the owner of the humble dwelling on 
the hill sold the premises to his disgruntled namesake 
and disappeared. People said he got a fancy price to 
move away and leave the original Howgood the sole use 
of the name. Be that as it may, John Howgood had 
thus become a legal existence of the most indisputable 
character, a clause in the act having annulled and ex- 
tinguished all other names and aliases^ by which it might 
at any previous time be known. Nobody dreamed that 
the whole controversy was simulated — a studied ruse, 
by which what seemed like two identities had been 
merged into one, and a name which was a mere cloak 
had been given substantial verity. 

As " prospecting " went on in the Territory, " Old 
Howgood " acquired an interest in various mining prop- 
erties, most of which were so successful that it came to 
be laughingly spoken of as a fortunate thing to have 
him as a partner in such ventures. He always paid 
cash for such interests, and never let go until he sold at 
an advance. So matters stood when his lawyer received 
directions to purchase for him, from the government, a 
large tract of land in one of the most inaccessible and 
barren portions of the Territory. 

" Well, Old Howgood has done it now," the attorney 
said to his partner, as he read these instructions. 

" How so ?" asked the other, looking up from the 
brief over which he was poring. 

" Why, I haven't heard a word from him for months. 
His agent said he was out of town, and he had no idea 
where he was or when he would return, but here he 
sends an order for me to buy for him both sides the 
river for five miles up and down one of the worst can- 
yojis in the Rockies, lying a hundred miles from nowhere 
and inaccessible to anyone not blessed with wings. I 
declare, it is a pity to waste money in that way ! With 



By Force of Law. > 345 

such chances as there are here, too — lots of splendid 
property changing hands every day." 

" What does he expect to do with the gorge ?" 

" That's the funniest part of it — says he's going to 
start a horse-ranch." 

" The devil ! Well, he can afford to amuse himself ; 
but it does seem a queer thing to dump Denver comer- 
lots into a canyon a thousand feet deep. Hadn't you 
better get out an inquisition de lunatico inquirendo and have 
a guardian appointed ?" 

" How would I go at it ?" queried the partner, jocu- 
larly. " I've never set eyes on the old scoundrel, and 
wouldn't know whom to have the papers served on. 
Queer, isn't it ? How do I manage to do his business ? 
Well, I'll tell you. He picked up old man Van Wyck, 
who had failed somewhere back East, and came out 
here hoping to get a new start. He was a good business 
man, but utterly broken in health and spirits as well as 
in estate. He was working as bookkeeper in the hotel 
where Howgood stopped when he 'first landed,' it 
seems ; just dragging along on nothing and anxious for 
the end. Howgood offered him a house rent-free and a 
salary twice as big as he was getting to look after his 
affairs. It was exactly the thing the old man was best 
fitted for. The job was an easy one, and he was grate- 
ful as well as faithful. I suppose that was aboiit the 
best investment Howgood ever made, and he has made 
some cracking good ones. After «. while he made Van 
Wyck's wife a present of the house they lived in, and 
ever since the old man has been getting along, with 
Howgood's help, of course, mighty well. He has settled 
with his creditors and is considered fairly well off now. 
He says he knows no more about his employer than 
any one else. Howgood stays with them, I believe, when 
in the city, which is only now and then, but has never 



346 A Son of Old Harry. 

said a word to him about any business except what he 
leaves in his charge. If the old man knows anything 
more, you couldn't draw it out of him with wild horses ; 
and I don't blame him. But your plan wouldn't work 
anyhow. ' Old Howgood ' could give us both odds in 
the line of hard sense and have enough left to ' bank ' 
on for the rest of his life. No ; the only thing to do is 
to go and buy the land according to orders and charge 
him for the service." 

" With commissions, of course," added the partner, 
with a laugh. 

" Not any commissions with him ; I tried that once." 

"Didn't it work?" 

*' Not much. Van Wyck brought me a sealed note 
from his principal, which stated that he had observed a 
charge for commissions in my last account — he requires 
a separate account for each transaction — that while will- 
ing to pay reasonable fees, he declined to pay commis- 
sions ; and if 1 did not wish to attend to his business on 
those terms, he would find another attorney. Of course, 
I couldn't let him slip, and it would be folly to try to 
work any fancy charges on him." 

" I guess it wouldn't pay, that's a fact. Is that the 
reason you are so close about his business ?" 

" Oh, no ; Van Wyck stipulated, when he employed 
me, that I should always attend to his business myself. 
He said Mr. Howgood did not wish to employ a firm, 
and if I was not at liberty to engage myself individually, 
preferred not to retain me. I thought it was a mere 
notion and so agreed to it. As you know, he has 
made it profitable for us." 

** That he has. Oh, it is evident that no court would 
listen to a charge of incapacity against such a man ; he 
is a little too sane, if anything." 



Tete de Lotip. 347 

The partners laughed good-naturedly, and each went 
on with the work he had in hand. 

Thus John Howgood secured a legal status. " Old 
Howgood" was only an insignificant incident in the 
curiously indifferent life of the Queen City of the Plains. 
The sun kissed the snowy mountains ; the sparkling 
river dashed quickly past ; the water trickled along the 
open ditches ; the sand beat against the panes, and the 
muffled hum of her busy life went up from her unecho- 
ing streets. Nobody asked who John Howgood had 
been. Everybody knew who " Old Howgood " was. 
He was accounted an honorable man ; a worthy citi- 
zen ; a man hard to entrap ; apt to succeed in what he 
undertook ; having the devil's luck in speculation, and 
attending strictly to his own business. A new civiliza- 
tion spreads the mantle of charity over the mistakes of 
an old one with amazing facility and unfeigned kind- 
liness, and " strict attention to one's own affairs " 
becomes a not unimportant element of good repute in 
such a community. 



CHAPTER II, 



TETE DE LOUP. 



Tete de Loup was one of those surprises abounding in 
the great table-land out of which the Rocky Mountains 
rise. It was a basin with sheer, precipitous sides, half- 
way down the narrow clefts in which the scraggly pines 
crept here and there in pointed phalanxes, as if seeking 
to reach the black waving crests that stretched upward 
from the bottom in a vain attempt to hide the gray, 
scarred rocks, Seen froni above^ Tete de Loup wag . 



348 A Son of Old Harry. 

only a curious widening of the canyon's walls, with a 
stunted forest growing around the edges and a mad 
river dashing through it. Seen from the bottom, it was 
a valley five miles long, and half as wide, with a narrow 
gorge at either end ; a belt of pines about the sides, 
and rich pasture on either bank. Except for one nar- 
row and difficult trail it was inaccessible, save by the 
river, and only a few daring explorers had ever chosen 
that dangerous route. When the region was surveyed 
it was declared inaccessible ; its length and breadth 
were determined by tri angulation, and it was duly 
made a part of two townships of Range Eight of the 
NM Meridian West, on the map of the national domain. 
In those days, it was almost a hundred miles from the 
edge of civilization as the crow flies, and much more by 
any practical route, though a broad road, which con- 
nected two great ** parks," as the rifts between the 
mountain-ranges are termed, ran through a picturesque 
pass, only a score of miles away. 

The surrounding region was too barren even for the 
Indian to care to dispute its possession seriously. 
Down the one possible path into the sequestered valley, 
years before — just after the wild rush to Pike's Peak — 
a man had found his way, bringing a mare and foal, 
and here he had remained. Afterward, he had added 
to his stock a couple of calves, carrying them down the 
narrow path, one at a time, slung across his shoulders. 
How he became possessed of them he never thought it 
necessary to explain. He built a rude house and shelter 
for his stock against the face of the rock, deftly conceal- 
ing them with shrubs and vines, which he planted for 
the purpose. Back under the cliff stretched a roomy 
cavern, along which a mighty torrent had some time 
flowed, now dwindled to a tiny rill. Here the stock 
was hidden whenever concealment was necessary. 



Tete de Loup. 349 

He called the valley — his valley — Tete de Loup, from 
some fancied resemblance of outline to a wolf's head. 
His stock had increased to a small herd, though he took 
care that it should not grow large enough to awaken 
the cupidity of any beholder. He had little need for 
caution. In all the time he had been there, it had been 
visited but thrice. A little band of Indians, a couple of 
prospectors and a party of explorers, were the only in- 
truders on his solitude. None of these tarried long, nor 
found anything to induce them to return. 

It was a curious life the owner led, going and coming 
at pleasure, his stock his only companions. He did not 
seem to have any special care for the animals he raised. 
He had never sold any, and had little use for them in that 
remote narrow valley. The cattle indeed furnished him 
with milk and meat, but not one of the horses had ever 
been up the difficult trail. Indeed, it was not absolutely 
certain they could get up it. 

One day the owner of Tete de Loup found a stranger 
lying by the road-side in the pass, fevered and delirious. 
His horse was grazing quietly a few steps away. After 
some hesitation he secured the animal, and without any 
attempt to learn the identity of the stranger, placed him 
in the saddle, and mounting behind, brought him to his 
ranch. It was a case of that form of typhoid, known in 
the region as "mountain-fever." It was a remarkable 
thing for one like the Hermit of Tete de Loup to do. 
Probably the stranger's white hair won upon his sym- 
pathy. 

Three weeks afterward, the man had so far recovered 
as to comprehend his surroundings and question his 
rescuer. He found . the latter to be a recluse of that 
curious French type, which seeks the wilderness, not 
merely for the love of adventure or greed of possession, 
but as a refuge from misfortune, disgrace or disappoint- 



350 A Sou of Old Harry. 

ment. In lieu of society, he had made the animals he 
reared his companions. They knew him, and flocked 
around him at his call. By accident he had become 
possessed of a stallion wounded in one of the engage- 
ments with the Indians, and left to die of his hurt. 
Brought here with difficulty, the high-bred animal had 
left his stamp upon the herd, giving it a quality which 
the owner fully appreciated, and of which he was very 
proud. It was one of those rare instances in which the 
blood of the thoroughbred mingles harmoniously with 
that of the desert-born, the offspring showing the form 
and action of the sire, without losing the toughness and 
endurance of the wiry dam, the product of centuries of 
wildness and hardship with the blood of the Castilian 
barb as its starting-point. Already a half-dozen young- 
sters attested the excellence of the new type. 

One day, the owner called his little herd about the 
door of his cabin, where the stranger, yet pale and weak, 
wrapped in robes and blankets, sat drinking in long 
draughts of the bracing air — absorbing, as the convales- 
cent seems to do, the sunshine — and, while the horses 
bit and kicked in jealous rivalry for his favor, told his 
guest their story. 

The stranger smiled as his eye fell upon the stallion, 
a long, round-barreled bay, who, despite some stiffness, 
the result of wounds and age, was yet a horse of splen- 
did style, with an eye full of fire — a masterful patriarch 
who showed no sign of yielding his place even to the 
best of his offspring. He listened to the owner's esti- 
mate of the value of the youngsters with a twinkle in his 
eye, and when, finally, the horses had wandered off, 
obedient to their master's words and gesture of dis- 
missal, began to whistle — a soft, quick -recurring repeti- 
tion of a familiar night-bird's call. The owner of the ranch 
turned and looked at him with a smile. The notes evi- 



Tete de Loup, 351 

dently awakened pleasant memories. The old horse, a 
hundred yards away, halted, threw up his head, and 
uttered a shrill, piercing neigh. Still the quick, even 
call came from the cabin-door, echoing sharply from 
side to side across the canyon. Suddenly the horse 
wheeled and dashed back to the hut, uttering joyful 
neighs of recognition. 

The stranger extended his hand familiai*ly, and the 
horse, after one sniff of inquiry, stretched out his dark 
muzzle, now plentifully streaked with gray, to receive 
the proffered caress. 

" Knows you !" said the owner, his black eyes spark- 
ling under the beetling brows with astonishment and 
delight. " Great horse!" 

His companion smiled. Withdrawing his hand from 
the drooping head, he snapped his fingers and a hard 
black hoof was laid in his extended palm. 

" Good ! Good !" cried the owner, clapping his hands. 
" Great horse ! Great horse !" 

" What will you take for him ?" 

" Your horse — your horse !" answered the recluse. 
"Not mine." 

" What do you think he is worth ?" 

" Old horse — not worth much. How old ?" 

" He has seen twenty, but he is worth a hundred for 
every year." 

" Two thousan' dollar !" exclaimed the owner, in 
amazement, 

" All of that. He is known all over the country as 
one of the greatest horses that ever lived. That is 
Belmont's Abdallah." 

" I never heard of him," said the other, dubiously. 

Then the stranger told the horse's history, and 
descanted upon the probable value of his progeny. The 
eyes of the recluse flashed ; he threw back his head and 



352 A Son of Old Harry, 

ran his thick, stumpy fingers through his hair as he 
listened. 

" You — you will take him — away ?" nodding his head 
at the horse, which was licking the stranger's hand. 

"O no ; he is yours." 

" I s'ould be reech, vare reech — now I know he is so 
— so great." 

" But yotl are rich," with a gesture which included the 
valley. 

" No, no," answered the other, shaking his head. " I 
no keep him. Give him up — go away — away !" 

The stranger eyed him keenly for an instant, and then 
sent the horse away with an impatient word. 

" What is your name ?" he asked, abruptly. 

^^ Mon nam?" repeated the recluse, with a start. 
"Jacques — Jacques — Combien," he added with a twinkle 
of the deep-set eyes. 

The stranger laughed good-humoredly. 

" And you — " he asked, ** what name have you ?" 

" Jack, too — Jack Howgood." 

"How-good? — Com-bien ? Good!" said the other, 
significantly. ** Vare good !" 

Then they both laughed. They understood each 
other without exchanging confidences. That is the way 
with men. They had liked each other from the first. 
Now they were friends. Never since he had come to 
Tete de Loup had the recluse felt loneliness until the 
stranger manifested a desire to depart. His one fear 
had been that others would come and dispossess him, or 
seek to take from him a part of the little rock-ribbed 
valley — not that he was greedy, but he wished to be 
alone — and he loved Tete de Loup. The explorers, the 
prospectors, even the Indians, he had regarded with 
keen jealousy — the latter less than the others, because 
the inaccessibility of the valley had unfitted it for their 



Tcte de Loup. 353 

purposes. The prospectors he had watched unceasingly 
while they dug and washed, studying the seams in the 
rocks, and the pebbles in the river-bed. If they had 
discovered anything worth their while — if they had 
driven a single stake, or showed any inclination to return, 
he would have killed them. Since the government sur- 
vey had been made he had been in mortal terror lest 
some one should " enter " the land, and so bar him from 
th^ enjoyment of his valley. And now, strange enough, 
he wished this white-haired, white-bearded man, who 
was yet young — much younger than himself, he judged, 
to stay with him. Civilization was crowding upon him. 
He was afraid of its forms. He knew nothing of his 
rights and had a vague terror that he would be driven 
out. Perhaps this man might help him. 

" But you will come again ?" he asked. 

The other shook his head. 

The owner scowled. He was not angry, only trying 
to think. He was a man of powerful physique, not tall, 
but compact and strong. His face was swarthy ; his 
beard and hair dark and stiff. It did not curl, neither 
was it straight, but lay in a close, wavy mat on brow 
and cheek. There were white threads in it here and 
there. His forehead bulged over the eyes, as is so fre- 
quently the case with men of his descent, and the heavy 
brows so shaded the great, black eyes as to give them 
almost a sinister appearance.. He spoke English fairly 
well, but with a trace of the Canadian patois in his tones, 
something in his phrasing also. He had said nothing 
about the reasons which induced him to hide away in 
Tete de Loup. The other had not asked, neither had 
he spoken of himself or his circumstances. 

" See here," the owner of the ranch broke out, after a 
long silence ; " you got money ?" 



354 ^ ^'^"' ^f ^^'■^ Harry. 

" A little," smiling. " I was aboi;t to ask what I 
should pay you ?" 

" Pay me ? Nothing — not a cent ! That would be 
insult !" seeing the other put his hand in his pocket, 
" This is what I mean : you see this ?" 

He waved his short arm and strong, grimy fingers 
toward the plain, 

" The gov'ment want it ; the surveyor come to take 
it. I see 'em up yonder measure — squint. I kijow 
Jacques Combien have to get out some time. He hold 
one hundred sixty acres — that's all. That what ze Den- 
ver lawyer say. How many here ?" 

"A thousand or more." 

" More — more ! Two thousand — more yet ! Now, 
how many come in ? Five — ten — hundred people ! Sh ! 
Sacre ! Who live here, then ? Where my horses — my 
cattle — my — ?" He shrugged his shoulders and thrust 
his open palm away from him with a gesture of infinite 
aversion. "What 'come of Jacques, then ?" 

" Well ?" 

" How much it cost to buy it all ?" 

** Probably five or six thousand dollars." 

" Desso — desso ! Where Jacques Combien get five 
thousand dollars ?" 

" It is quite a sum." 

" Desso ! Well, dis what I say. You buy — buy it all 
— then I give you half. No ! Two-thirds — three-quar- 
ters the stock ! You come here ; we raise horses ; sell 
— grow rich, have good time — all 'lone. No ? Don't 
say no !" 

And this man wanted to be rich ! It did not seem 
strange when he told the reason. He had sworn never 
to go back to his native village until he was richer than 
any man in it. He had been unfortunate '; had lost his 
little property — and had hidden here in despair. He 



Tete de Loitp. 355 

did not doubt that the girl to whom he had made this 
boast had married another. Nevertheless, he wished 
to return — to show that his boast had not been vain. 
Perhaps he thought there might be another ; he did not 
say so. 

So John Howgood and Jacques Combien became part- 
ners in Tete de Loup — the one to have the east side of 
the river, the other the west, and the stock to be owned 
in ..common. John Howgood ordered his lawyer to 
secure the title, and Jacques Combien, whose squatter's 
right he had bought for a sum which made that worthy 
feel himself rich already, started to redeem his boast. 
But he never reached his native village. No doubt his 
heart had grown tender in the long sojourn in the wil- 
derness, or the sound of his native tongue was too great 
a temptation to be resisted. At any rate, travelling 
with his new friend, he made the acquaintance of Louise, 
the sprightly French maid who waited upon the unfor- 
tunate sister of John Howgood, and when he returned 
to Tete de Loup, she came with him as his wife. 

In the meantime, the little valley had been trans- 
formed. A road of easy grade had been blasted out of 
the sheer wall. A bridge spanned the river. A com- 
fortable house stood on the site of the old cabin ; a 
more pretentious one on the other side of the river. 
Stalls and paddocks were prepared, and quarters pro- 
vided for grooms and laborers. Some new stock had 
made its appearance, too. Brood-mares, brought over 
the plains from the blue-grass pastures of Kentucky, 
whose fine lines and high spirits attested the correct- 
ness of the pedigrees, which avouched their descent 
from great names of the turf. The Tete de Loup 
Stock Ranch was established. Its appointments were 
not luxurious, but they were serviceable. Its advan- 
tages were abundance of the best pasturage, water, 



356 A Soil of Old Ha7^ry. 

shelter, and a rare, dry atmosphere. No wonder a type, 
celebrated not only for its performances, but for temper 
and endurance, has sprung from that sunny mountain 
cove. 

" Ah, money can do anything !" said Jacques Combien, 
as he surveyed the result. 

It had not required very much money, but from that 
hour the simple-hearted fellow strove for riches, not 
meanly, but honestly and manfully — and fortune smiled 
upon his efforts. The ranch has been profitable — more 
profitable than many of the ventures which lured men 
into the mountains by thousands, a few years later^ 
with the glivtering promise of boundless argentiferous 
reward. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE BALM OF SOLITUDE. 

It was to Tete de Loup that I brought her^ and began 
in more serious fashion the task to which I had devoted 
myself, of joining, if I might, the edges of her dual 
consciousness, or, more properly, the restoration of that 
consciousness of which the key had been lost. It was 
no light or agreeable undertaking. My very love made 
it all the more distressing. She was in the fullness of a 
beauty always rare, and in this case the more trans- 
cendant, because the weakened brain had relieved her 
from] everything like care, and prevented any of that 
exhaustion of nervous energy which, quicker than any- 
thing else, brings age. Her hair was of that tint which 
lies midway between the silver's whiteness and the 



The Balm of Solitude. 357 

gleam of beaten gold ; her face, calm and peaceful, had 
the innocent glow of girlhood with the fullness of 
ripened womanhood. Her form, developed without 
restraint, had the suppleness and grace we are accus- 
tomed to attribute to tropical climes. 

The task seemed hopeless. None of the eminent 
specialists I consulted gave me any encouragement. 
Yet I did hope. A thousand times 1 despaired, yet 
never ceased to hope again on the morrow. I had 
learned that life in town was not good for her. New 
faces troubled her. Varied surroundings seemed to 
make her fancy more flighty and her thought less 
coherent. Somehow it seemed to me as if the same- 
ness of Tete de Loup would be restful and healing to 
her. There was only the sky, the level, silent valley, 
the gray, circling walls with the dark, woody fringe 
above, the flashing river and the white mountain peaks 
in the distance. There would be horses, it is true, but 
they would be the same ones all the time ; and of 
human beings there would be only myself, Jacques and 
his wife, to whom she was much attached in her fickle 
way, and the grooms and laborers, of whom she would 
only now and then get a glimpse. This was to be our 
world, and from its unvarying sameness, its silence, seclu- 
sion and restfulness, I hoped for much — or, rather, I 
tried to hope. 

I did not conceal from myself that, whatever the 
result might be, my life — my new life, and all that it 
might give of comfort, attention and entertainment 
belonged to her. No matter whether she appreciated 
my efforts, comprehended my devotion, or even recog- 
nized my presence or not ; I was bound to her by a tie 
stronger than even love could forge — the obligation to 
care for this frail consciousness which I had torn from 
its rnoorings and assumed the sole responsibility of 



358 A Son of Old Harry. 

its direction. Already nearly two years had elapsed 
since Fate had thrown her into my arms and sealed the 
deed of wrongful appropriation by hurling us both into 
oblivion. Not only was she lost to the world, but the 
world was lost to her. Already she had forgotten 
her husband's existence. Allusion to him no longer 
provoked any show of resentment, but onh/ a glance 
of uncomprehending surprise. Doctor Talcott's name 
had long since ceased to awaken any sign of recognition. 
A change of attendants made her uneasy for a day or 
two ; in a few days, or weeks at farthest, their names 
were forgotten. If they returned she showed no signs 
of recognition. New surroundings seemed to excite her 
wonder, but she expressed no regret for those she had 
left. If she saw them again she had no remembrance 
of them. There seemed, therefore, little room for hope 
— whether I did hope I hardly know. At any rate, I 
determined to devote myself unreservedly to her. I 
thought it my plain duty. It seems strange that one 
like me should talk of duty, and surely it was not so 
great a thing to consecrate a useless life to enlivening 
one to whom each day's trifles were all there was of 
joy or sorrow, that it need have so grave a designa- 
tion ; but I was unable to find any other name for the 
impulse. 

This is why I bought Tete de Loup and brought her 
there. If I could not restore the lost consciousness, I 
judged that I could there better bestow upon her that 
care which did so much to make her simple life peace- 
ful and contented. There was no doubt that she enjoyed 
my companionship more than that of any other person. 
She remembered me after long absences, or perhaps it 
would be more correct to say, became acquainted with 
me after such absences more readily than with any one 
else. She called me Jack — sometimes Jack Howgood, 



The Balm of Solitude. 359 

seeming to take a childish pleasure in linking my 
name with the phrase of acknowledgment from which 
it was really derived. 

" Jack !" she would say — " Jack, how good — Jack How- 
good !" 

Then she would laugh gleefully at the dimly compre- 
hended ambiguity, and repeat it over and over again 
with the peculiar tendency to iteration which charac- 
terizes persons of weak intellect. Still it was apparent 
from her tone and manner that she did not consciously 
associate me with that other " Jack " of whom her 
errant fancy was always full. There was something 
very touching in her reiteration of this name in varying 
tones under different conditions. When she was bright- 
est and happiest she repeated it hardly above her 
breath, in the intervals of conversation or sitting alone 
in calm content. 

"Jack, Jack, Jack!" she would whisper rapidly to 
herself; then aloud: "What a pleasant day!" Then 
in a whisper again : "Jack, Jack, Jack !" 

But when she was ill, or anything had gone wrong 
with her, or one of those dark days was on her which 
come periodically to the insane, the word became a wail 
whose sadness pierced the dullest heart. I have often 
seen a groom fling up his hands and flee beyond hearing 
of her voice when on such occasions the plaintive 
"Jack ! Jack !" echoed through the sequestered valley. 
I noticed after a time that these gloomy intervals 
became less frequent, while the cheerful, chattering 
whisper was almost constant with her, as if "Jack" 
was becoming the echo of a hidden but pleasant con- 
sciousness instead of a sad and despairing one. There 
was recompense if not encouragement in this. It was 
more than my broken life was worth if my presence 
could make cheerful rather than sad the void in which 



360 A Son of Old Haj-ry. 

she seemed to live — for there was all the time a seeming 
consciousness, a something vainly struggling for 
expression, of which the weak and fleeting intelligence 
she displayed was only a glimmer, like the corona 
which in a total eclipse tells of the sun's presence, 
though the luminary itself is hid. 

The idea that there was a latent consciousness 
beneath this external, superficial one, capable of receiv- 
ing intense and lasting impressions was confirmed, in 
my opinion at least, by the fact that she seemed to 
have as just an apprehension of natural laws as anyone. 
She was careful in approaching the edge of a precipice ; 
she clearly understood the fact that it would be peril- 
ous to fall into the river, and, though fond of watching 
it carry away what was thrown in, was extremely 
cautious in approaching its banks. So, too, while she 
loved to watch the firelight, she never manifested any 
inclination to trifle with combustion. The same was 
true in reference both as to propriety and taste in 
dress. Though she seemed to have no idea about 
increasing or repainng her wardrobe, yet she was very 
positive in her preferences, both as to color and texture, 
and was not only able to clothe herself but did so 
becomingly and tastefully, according to seasons and 
conditions. 

Of course, some of these things may be said to have 
been instinctive, and others were no doubt due to the 
excellent training to which she had been subjected 
immediately after recovering from her first aberration 
of mind. But an incident occurred during our removal 
to Tete de Loup which strongly confirmed my view of 
her condition, though it gave no hint of any practicable 
method of reaching or awakening this dormant con- 
sciousness. The horses attached to our carriage took 
fright while we were descending a narrow gorge, and 



The Babn of Solittidc. 361 

ran with great violence to the bottom. A dozen times 
we were in the greatest peril of being thrown over the 
precipice, but by good fortune we escaped without seri- 
ous injury. She was utterly unstrung with terror when 
I lifted her out, and from that moment had an almost 
unconquerable aversion, not for a horse, but for a car- 
riage. Indeed, she never afterward entered one with- 
out a shudder. It seems a cruel thing to say, but this 
discovery gave me great pleasure. She made the rest 
of the journey on horseback, and her enjoyment of the 
mountain scenery and the quiet loveliness of our evening 
camps had the effect of transforming our trip into a 
loitering stroll along the winding mountain trails. 

At Tete de Loup we were together all day long. We 
rode, talked, sang. I remembered her old favorites, and 
read over and over again to her the same books. She 
was especially fond of the Bible, and never tired of 
listening to portions of it. The thought of eternity 
— endless duration — seemed to be the one abstract idea 
which continued to hold a place in her consciousness. 
She had no conception of death. The fact that a bird, 
which I shot, would not fly when she tossed it up, 
troubled her so much that I took care that she should 
not again witness anything of the kind. Immensity 
however — boundlessness, whether in space or time, 
though said to be an incomprehensible idea, evidently 
impressed her consciousness very deeply. The sky, the 
mountains, the mystical boundlessness of the starlit 
night, all soothed and hushed, but at the same time ex- 
alted her. The idea of interminable duration seemed to 
have the same effect. It was evident that it touched a 
deeper, more responsive chord of her hidden nature 
than any other. " Forever and forever, amen," she 
would whisper with solemn ecstasy, whenever a word 
importing endless duration occurred in our reading. I 



vD 



62 A Son of Old Harry. 



tried a thousand times to enlarge this crevice, through 
which a beam of light from her past seemed to find its 
way, but in vain. 

I suppose there must have been other indications of 
improvement during the years that followed, but I had 
long since lost hope, and so failed to note them. I had 
almost forgotten to repine, and came to regard the de- 
votion of my time and energies to securing the comfort 
of this pitiful half -life, not merely as a deserved penance, 
but a not altogether disagreeable duty. 

It was a peaceful, quiet life we led upon our ranch. 
The horses and their care were the only things we had 
to break the uneventful days' monotony. It would be 
difficult to say which derived most pleasure from our 
occupation, Jacques Combien, myself, or the lovely 
woman who was always a looker-on and often a partici- 
pant. It did not once occur to me that the eagerness 
with which she waited for the time to come when she 
might mount each colt in turn was of itself evidence of 
an improved mental condition. 

We trained the Tete de Loup horses naturally. They 
were never broken ; we found nothing to break. They 
inherited docility, good temper, the desire to do what 
was required of them, to outdo each other and to win 
favor by excelling. That these qualities characterize 
the well-bred horse, and are both |heriiable and culti- 
vatable, there can be no doubt. 

The history of the horse is full of suggestions to the 
owner who desires to promote his excellence and secure 
further development. There is doubtless much in soil, 
climate, food, and what is called training. 

The soil, climate and rich food of the British Islands 
unquestionably contribute largely to the early develop- 
ment of the English thoroughbred, as also for his early 
decay. So the desert air and scanty vegetation are 



The Balm of Solitude. 363 

largely responsible for the lack of size and the remark- 
able endurance of the Arabian. But the influences which 
make the Arab horse, after all our boasted scientific 
methods, unapproachable in the most desirable qualities 
a horse can possess, are not dependent upon climate, 
food, or what we term care. He is but poorly fed, badly 
groomed — and never broken. From the day he is foaled 
until he dies, at an age the English thoroughbred rarely 
attains, he is the associate of man. His master pets him ; 
the children play with him ; the women fondle him. 
He is to the Arab tent what a pet dog is to his master's 
apartments — a privileged character who, if not invited 
m, watches the portal in perfect confidence that whoever 
may come out will be a friend and familiar. 

The English thoroughbred is a wild brute, tamed and 
broken — compelled to serve through fear. This, indeed, 
is the general relation of the Anglo-Saxon toward infer- 
iors, whether brute or human. Power is the scepter of 
his dominion. He never persuades, but breaks or kills. 
It matters not whether it be a man, a people, a race or 
a brute — the method is always the same. The French, 
by treatment approaching the Arab's in gentleness, have 
developed the intelligent and reliable Norman, which in 
the hands of our American breeders is fast retrograding 
again into savagery. So everywhere it will be seen that 
what may be termed the moral qualities of the horse 
depend almost entirely upon the moral qualities of those 
who rear and train him. 

The broncho of the plains is undoubtedly of gentle 
blood, being descended from the Spanish barb, which 
approached nearer to his master in familiar association 
than did the horse of any other European nation of that 
time. His transportation to this country in their little 
crowded caravels for use in conquest is evidence of this. 
Only a people accustomed to intimate association with 



364 A Son of Old Harry, 

the horse could have transported him successfully in 
this manner. Yet the broncho has lost all trace of con- 
fidence in man, not merely by generations of wildness 
and unrestraint, but by the barbarity of successive gen- 
erations of Indian masters. 

The brutality of the English groom and the formality 
of the English gentleman are reflected in the vicious- 
ness and stiffness of the English horse. Neither groom 
nor master usually cares anything for the temper, com- 
fort or intelligence of the horse, but is only desirous 
that he should be amenable to orders and perform the 
tasks he is assigned. Fortunately for the American 
horse, we are, so far as this noblest of our dumb animals 
is concerned, growing away from our English inheri- 
tance. The horse is more his master's friend and less 
the mere instrument of his pleasure in America than in 
England. Consequently, American horses of the better 
class are less frequently vicious, more docile and longer- 
lived than the denizens of English stables. 

These things are especially true of the southern part 
of the country, and particularly of the blue-grass region 
of Kentucky, where the kindness shown the foal is quite 
as important an element of their future achievements 
as the quality of the food they eat. For the moral 
quality is almost as important in a horse as in a man. 
In the breeding of trotters especially it is necessary that 
this fact should be kept in mind, since with them not 
only speed but the faculty of self-restraint are essential 
to the highest success — nerve as well as muscle. Of the 
great names on the trotting turf to-day, almost every 
one of the greatest has been the daily companion of a 
man or of a family, who not only prized but loved the 
proud and happy recipient of their attentions. 

We are learning — not as fast as we might, but surely 
— that the most valuable qualities of the horse — those 



The Balm of Solitude. 365 

which will always command the best and readiest mar- 
ket — can only be developed by constant care, gentle- 
ness and appreciative familiarity. It is safe to say that 
such treatment has been an appreciable element of the 
value at least of nine-tenths of the horses which have 
brought ten thousand dollars or upward, and of ninety- 
nine-hundredths of those who have doubled that sum 
for their owners. 

There is little doubt that the finest type of horse in 
America, like the finest type in the old world, will come 
from the plains. Sand, sunshine and a certain degree 
of aridness give the best hoofs, the best muscles, greater 
endurance and greater longevity. But the perfect 
American horse will be developed, not by the whole- 
sale breeder with the costly training-stables, but by the 
American boy who feeds and fondles his weanling, and 
prizes him not merely for his money value but for his 
moral qualities — when we become not a nation of fast 
drivers and race-goers but of horse lovers. The horse 
needs not to be broken ; he is no longer ferax natures j 
he needs to be civilized and taught to believe in the civ- 
ilization of his owner. 

These were the principles applied at Tete de Loup. 
Every colt felt the touch of some kindly hand every 
day from the time he was foaled until he left our pos- 
session, and learned to submit himself to human direc- 
tion and control, not because of fear, but because he 
knew it was kindly. A horse so trained may, indeed, 
forget his training and break away from restraint, if he 
loses confidence in the decision or capacity of his driver. 
So, too, he may be made wild with fear or pain, or the 
mere love of rivalry may make him oblivious to 
attempted restraint, as in the case of those who were 
the unconscious cause of my present condition ; but he 
will be many times less liable to any of these defects 



366 A Son of Old Harry. 

than a horse which has been " broken " and taught to 
yield through fear. " Rareyism " was a scientific 
method of teaching vicious animals that man is their 
superior in power. As long as we rely on fear as the 
controlling impulse of the horse-nature, this method is, 
perhaps, better than any other ; but even observant 
horse-men, who believe in the doctrine of force as 
devoutly as any, have noted that the resultant condi- 
tion of absolute submissiveness is not favorable to the 
best achievement. The truth is that hopelessness, the 
consciousness that he is purely and solely the creature 
of another's will, is just as bad for a horse as for a man. 
If well trained he is willing to obey, but to obtain the 
best results his work must always be an act of conscious, 
willing obedience, not of passive submissiveness. 

The horse should yield himself to his driver's will 
because he has confidence in him, not because he knows 
he cannot successfully resist him. The mares which 
the Prophet selected for his stud because they turned 
back from ♦"he water's edge despite their long depriva- 
tion, at the sound of the trumpet, did not do it because 
they feared to disobey, but because their love of the 
wild route of battle was stronger even than their rag- 
ing thirst. That there are horses — just as there are 
men — who are not susceptible to influences of this char- 
acter, I do not deny. There are no doubt some that 
are inherently vicious, though I do not happen to have 
known one which, if properly treated while young, 
might not have been rendered easily subservient by a 
master who had himself been properly trained, unless 
the animal inherited distrust from a long line of wild 
ancestors, or came of a stock imbruted by the savagery 
of their possessors. There are, no doubt, horses lack- 
ing in intelligence — horses which, as has been well said 
of a certain stock, " have to learn everything afresh 



The Balm of Solitude. 367 

every time they go upon the road." Such, like the 
asinine hybrid, may be valuable merely as controlla- 
ble masses of tractionary muscles, but they are not 
worth reproducing. The best horse is always an ani- 
mal of rare intelligence, and equine intelligence is stim- 
ulated always by human associations, and whether it 
shall be trustful or distrustful depends very largely 
upon the character of the human associate. A man 
whom other men cannot trust rarely trains a horse on 
which any one can rely.^ 

I need not say how congenial this occupation was to 
me. A man may become a good rider or driver with- 
out any love for the horse, but only one bom with that 
love in his veins can ever properly train one or care for 
one. After a while, we brought a couple of colored 
grooms from Kentucky. Their wives came with them 
and served as our domestics. They were not faultless. 
They were sometimes harsh and often neglectful, but 
they had a decided fondness for the animals they cared 
for, and their vices were easily modified, if never wholly 
eliminated, I was fortunate, too, in having as an asso- 
ciate, Jacques, with his ancestral Breton tendencies, and 
his wife, who had memories of her own of the Cote du 
Cher, and the inherited love of the peasant-farmer for a 
petted weanling. They had charge of the foals, and 
saw that they were gently taught to submit to being 
handled and restrained, to lead, to follow, to start and 
stop at the word, to bear light burdens, face unusual 
sights and sounds, and made to acquire that most dif- 
ficult and unusual of equine accomplishments — a fast 
and steady walk. When the colts were two years old 
they crossed the river and came under my especial 
supervision. 

It is not my purpose here to give an account of our 
method. Indeed, there was no inflexible method. The 



368 A Son of Old Harry. 



efficient trainer, like the wise schoolmaster, must be a 
man of brain and sagacity enough to adapt his tuition to 
the intelligence and character of his pupil. Suffice it 
to say that no actual force was employed nor any show 
of force more tangible than insurmountable inclosures. 
I do not mean that the whip was discarded, but it was 
used more as a symbol of authority and a means for 
communicating orders to the eye like the officer's sword 
than as an instrument of punishment. In rare cases, it 
is very true, it was used for that purpose, but only on 
my own judgment and in extreme necessity. I am not 
sure that its primiti\ e use, with a colt having sufficient 
intelligence to be worth training, is not always a mis- 
take. 

During the period of actual training each colt 
received a lesson every day of sufficient length to 
make an impression upon his memory and not long 
enough to produce weariness or discouragement. After 
that time, exercise, practice, trials followed, both to 
harden the muscles and to crystallize the lessons into 
habits of action and obedience. As we had no intention 
of breeding for the turf and no desire to secure the 
patronage of the gambling fraternity, which delights 
only in extraordinary and destructive performances by 
half-developed colts, there was no inducement to rush 
our stock into market before their powers were fully 
matured and their qualities firmly established. Our 
purpose was to breed horses, not mere gambling mater- 
ials. By adopting this policy, Tete de Loup Ranch was 
enabled to send out every year a string of thoroughly 
trained animals, every one of which was brave, intelli- 
gent, trustful, obedient and reliable, of matured powers, 
and of a quality to fully gratify the owner's pride, 
though they might not minister to the gambler's greed. 
Their quality was at once appreciated — the more readily 



The Babn of Solitude. 369 

as we refused to part with them on any terms, tintil 
they had had a few months of careful handling on the 
lower levels of the East to accustom them to a moister 
climate and a denser atmosphere. 

The prices received have been as satisfactory as their 
performances. The only case in which they have 
proved refractory — if that could be called refractoriness 
— ^beingf the one in which the stupidity of an awkward 
driver resulted in the destruction of the splendid pair, 
whose impetuosity was the cause of my present injury. 
I did not need to seek pecuniary profit from this ven- 
ture. The enhancement of values and the development 
of new properties in the beautiful metropolis of the 
plains made me quite able to gratify my inclination, 
even at a much greater expense ; but no success I have 
ever achieved has been more satisfactory than the 
material results of Tete de Loup Ranch. 

As I have said, our life was very simple, and to me, 
in a sense, most congenial. I am almost surprised to 
think how I enjoyed her presence during this period 
when hope was dead, and I looked forward to a future 
in all respects like the present which I lived, 

I occupied the new house on the east side of the river ; 
the others lived in the enlarged old one upon the west 
side. Every night I escorted her across the narrow 
bridge and bade her good-night at Jacques's door, 
and every morning she waked me with her impatient 
demand for my appearance. All day long she hardly 
left my side. I loved her, and her stunted intelligence, 
little by little, ceased to jar upon my consciousness. I 
came to accept her as she was, thinking less of what 
she had been and not at all of what I had hoped she 
might become. I had at first been somewhat encour- 
aged by the fact that she seemed to remember 
Abdallah, but neither the name nor the horse appeared 



370 A So7i of Old Harry. 

to awaken any other memories of her early life. Except 
that she remained fonder of the battered old veteran 
than of any other horse at the ranch, I could hardly 
regard this preference as the result of any indistinct 
recollection. But the fact that to the very last she 
would rather ride him than any other horse at the 
ranch seems quite unaccountable, in so good a horse- 
woman, on any other hypothesis. Considering his age 
and the fact that she rode in turn almost every one of 
our colts in those daily trips which were a regular part 
of our system of training, this continued fondness for 
the infirm old veteran seems so strange a thing that it 
is little wonder it gave me hope that memory might yet 
recover its sway. 

Especially will it seem impossible to account for this 
preference on any other ground, when we recall the 
fact that the silver-maned son of Gray Eagle, peerless 
in all those qualities which make up the perfect saddle- 
horse, was always at her disposal, and indeed her cus- 
tomary mount. Some months before our coming to 
Tete de Loup, I had learned from a paragraph floating 
through the press, that my wife, being about to dispose 
of her establishment, the horse would be for sale upon 
a certain day. The time was very limited, but I 
hastened Van Wyck East to buy the horse for me. The 
price he paid was not so large as I expected ; whether 
the favor of his master's notoriety detracted from his 
value, or his qualities were not fully appreciated, I 
never knew. 

I was very glad to have him in my possession once 
more, and glad also to learn incidentally that my wife 
was not taking my abandonment seriously to heart, but 
contemplating, as Van Wyck told me, a trip abroad. 
Of course, I asked few questions about her; but 1 was 
sorely tempted, as I had been many times before, to 



The Balm of Solitude. 371 

write to her, not to excuse, but in part, perhaps, to 
extenuate my fault, and more especially to prevent her 
from being led into difficulty by a re-marriage. Believ- 
ing me dead, she would, of course, naturally suppose her- 
self free to marry again without the formality of a 
divorce. 

I saw, however, that such a course was impossible, 
without involving other and still more serious and 
embarrassing consequences. It was more than probable 
that she would consider such action as adding insult to 
injury. Besides, I was responsible for the good name 
as well as the creature comforts of the woman whose 
destiny I had taken into my hands, and I could not sub- 
ject her to any of the reproaches which would be sure 
to be evoked by such a revelation. Fortunately, the 
good sense of my wife afterward relieved me from such 
apprehension. She applied for a divorce, and a news- 
paper containing a notice of the application found its 
way into my hands. I was puzzled to account for its 
being sent to me, at the time, but concluded that the 
fact of Van Wyck's having acted for me in the purchase 
of Damon accounted for its having been mailed to me 
in his care. As the application was made in a Western 
State, and the husband's name was stated to be J. H. 
Goodwin, it attacted no attention ; and even when the 
decree was finally granted, as I suppose it must have 
been soon afterward, there was no mention made in the 
press even of the fact that the husband from whom she 
sought iseparation had ever been a man of any note. I 
suppose the divorce was only a precautionary measure, 
owing to the fact that my death was not absolutely 
provable. It was a very wise thing for her to do, and I 
felt really proud of the sagacity with which she had 
acted in the matter, being sure that her chief motive in 



'}^']2 A Son of Old Harry. 

so doing was to avoid casting any unnecessary odium 
on my name. 

It was terrible — this utter, irremediable eradication 
of the past ; having but one to love and none to love 
me ; being a stranger in the land I had fought to save ; 
my fame dust and ashes — its very mention bitterness ! 
I suppose even my comrades in their reunions avoid 
mention of my name as far as possible. I have never 
attended one. I dare not. I am afraid my emotion 
might betray me or some accident make my woe 
unbearable. 

Even the poor tribute of a headstone is denied me. 
No one will ever point out my grave. The car was 
burned ; the bodies destroyed. It seemed terrible 
then. Now I am glad it so happened. In time, per- 
haps, while the good of my life is yet remembered, the 
evil may be forgotten. I am surprised when I look 
back upon it now, that when I came to realize my posi- 
tion I did not seek refuge in the death I had so mirac- 
ulously escaped. But for my obligations to her^ I 
should have done so, I am sure. So we lived on, 
together, yet separated by an insurmountable wall. 
Mounted upon Damon, she accompanied me everywhere 
about the surrounding country in the lessons which I 
gave the younglings under the saddle — a portion of 
their training which I reserved especially for myself, 
and in which she took the utmost delight. 

Thus five years had elapsed since Hubert Goodwin's 
death. The anniversary of our last meeting before the 
darkness fell between us had come again. The bright 
spring sunshine flooded the little valley with that 
peculiar white light which characterizes the clear atmos- 
phere and cloudless skies of our mid-continental Italy. 
At this season of the year she had always been more 
restless than at others. She was lying curled up on a 



The Balm of Solitude. 373 

lounge in the kittenish way peculiar to her, in the sit- 
ting-room of my house. I was reading to her for the 
thousandth time, perhaps, a poem we had read together 
just before the evil days came — a pleasant story of that 
New England life now quite forgotten by the newer 
life which has succeeded it — Holland's " Bitter Sweet," 
which has already grown almost as unfamiliar to 
American readers as the Norse legends ; far more so, 
indeed, than Ibsen's cynicism, or Tolstoi's degrading 
speculation. Perhaps it was because I had first read 
this book with her that it still held a tender place in my 
heart, and I read it over and over to ears to which it 
was always new, with less of weariness than I felt in 
re-reading other more notable works. Perhaps I found 
in it a hint of something in harmony with my own sin. 
Be that as it may, it always set me dreaming of the 
past. On this particular day, the page vanished from 
my sight ; I forgot the lithe figure upon the sofa, the 
great gray eyes that watched me and the shining hair 
which gave back the silvery light with a softened glow 
like that of the mountain twilight. My thoughts were 
busy with the past. 

" Jack !" 

What was there in the tone that made my heart stand 
still ? Was it memory that played me false ? It was not 
the voice to which I had lately been accustomed, but 
that which I had heard when I first read the volume in 
my hand. I dare not look around or move, lest I should 
destroy the sweet illusion ; for I did not doubt that it 
was illusion. 

" Jack !" 

There was no mistaking it now. It was not the sim- 
ple, trustful, half-comprehending " Weely " who was call- 
ing me, but the old, old love so long dead and buried 
in shame and misfortune. The sw^eat burst out upon 



374 ^ ^^^^ ^/ ^^^ Harry. 

my brow ; my whole frame shook with the tremor of 
unexpected rapture. T did not move or speak — I could 
not. 

"Jack!" 

There was a touch of impatience in the tone quite 
characteristic of her old self. Never shall I hear again 
anything half so sweet. The music of the Seraphim will 
be dull to my ears in comparison with that voice. 

" Well ?" I answered, as composedly as I might, not 
turning my eyes, lest T should betray my agitation. 

" Jack, what makes your hair so white ? It didn't use 
to be." 

It was my lost one's voice ! The dead soul was speak- 
ing ! The puzzled, half-querulous tone showed that the 
blind eyes saw again, and that the clouded brain was 
struggling to the light. 

I could control myself no longer. Rising hastily but 
not abruptly, I went to her ; lifted her in my arms ; 
kissed her face, and, while the tears rained down my own, 
and the agony of those long years burst out in sobs, I 
cried : 

•' Dee ! Dee ! Dee !" 

That was all I could say. 

*' Dee ? Dee ?" she repeated, inquiringly. " Why, 
Jack ! Jack I" 

There was none of the accustomed plaintive inquiry 
in her tones, but positive, up-gushing gladness. She 
threw her arms about my neck, and I felt her slight form 
thrill with the rapture of recognition. Our tears and 
kisses mingled while the bright sun sparkled on the dash- 
ing stream, and afar off the white peaks rested, clear and 
soft, against the infinite blue depth. 

" Like spirits that lie in the azure sky, 
When they love but live no more," 



-■"iSsie;,.^ 



^r^^-.j.. 



The Balm of Soli t tide. 375 

I murmured, as I saw Dee's gaze turned toward the dis. 
taut peaks, inquiringly. 

" Oh, Jack !" she cried, as she clung to me with a 
thrill of apprehension. " What is it ? Are we dead ? 
What has happened ? Where are we. Jack ? Tell me — 
tell me truly !" 

I recovered myself with a sudden wrench. Could she 
stand the shock ? Was I not likely to lose the one only 
treasure earth could hold for me? Could the poor* 
weak brain throw off the gloom of years and live ? Had 
I found my love only to lose her again ! 

" Dee," I said, firmly, as I laid her down and smoothed 
the soft hands upon her brow caressingly ; " Dee, it is 
all right ; I am Jack — your Jack ; and I will take care of 
you — always." 

" Forever and ever ?" she asked, with a smile. 

" Forever and ever, amen !" I answered, solemnly. 
" But you must not ask any more questions now. You 
have been very ill. You must lie still, very still, and 
go to sleep. Will you do as I wish ?" 

** If — if I can," with a sigh of apprehension. " But you 
will not leave me. Jack — again ?" 

" I will sit by you and hold your hand. You need not 
fear. Wait a moment while I get you something." 

I stepped across the room, opened a cabinet, took from 
it a sedative, poured a strong dose of it into a glass of 
water, returned and held it to her lips. 

" Drink this, dear," I said ; " and when you waken and 
are stronger I will tell you everything. Now go to 
sleep." 

I sat down by her, took her hand and stroked her hair. 
It was terrible to send the newly-wakened soul back 
into oblivion. Would it return again and be itself ? I 
did not know, but I did know it could "ot survive the 
shock of this new birth without rest. 



376 A Son of Old Harry. 

Thus I sat and watched her while she slept. When 
the twilight fell and the maid came to call me to the 
evening meal I held up a finger warningly, and told her 
to send Louise. When the latter came, with hurrying 
steps and pallid cheeks, I said, chokingly : 

** She must not be disturbed ; she — she is — herself I" 

'* Ah, le bon Dieu /" exclaimed the tender-hearted 
woman who had served her so long and so faithfully. 
She sank into a chair, buried her face in the white apron 
she wore and sobbed silently. 

"She must not be disturbed," I repeated. "Put 
some food in the adjoining room. If she wakens I will 
feed her. She must not see anybody she does not 
know." 

" Does not know !" exclaimed the faithful creature. 
" Not know her Louise ?" 

" But you forget," I answered. " She will not be the 
— the same." 

"Ah, true," she said, rising with plaintive dignity; 
" I did forget. She will not be the same. She will be 
one I do not know ; and she will not know her Louise. 
Why should she ? She will be dead, and this — this will 
be another. Dieu, it is strange ! It is terrible ! It 
gives me fear ! It is like a miracle — like the resurrec- 
tion ! I — I think I shall be sorry to lose her." 

She rose and went softly away, her dark eyes shining 
in the dim light, with a wondering awe which brought 
a thrill of fear. 

Who would she be when she awoke ? I almost wished 
she might not waken at all, but that the sweet soul 
might exhale — might flee into the infinite void before 
the sunlight came to make visible the world's realities. 



CHAPTER IV. 

LIGHT UPON THE MOUNTAINS, 

Hour after hour I watched beside her, holding her 
hand, noting every breath, counting the pulse — hardly 
daring to breathe, myself, Louise came and arranged 
her clothing that she might sleep comfortably, without 
waking her. We heaped soft coverlets upon her, for 
the nights are chill in the mountains. I had bought 
them, thinking the gay colors would please her childish 
fancy, and had not been disappointed. After a time I 
drew the curtains, so as to shut out the moonlight. 
Then I could hear her breathing softly. I sat silent, hour 
after hour, wondering what the morrow would bring, 
and the days which were to follow. It was a long time 
since I had thought of the future — since I had dared to 
think of it. Who would she be when she awoke? 
Would she be Dee or " Weely ?" How I hated the 
name which was the badge of her infirmity ! If Dee, 
what should I do ? If *' Weely," of course the old life 
must go on. 

Tired of the dull agony of doubt, I went out and 
walked up and down beside the dashing stream in the 
bright moonlight, with the wondrous stillness of the 
mountain night about me. I seemed to be in the very 
center of eternity. The snowy peaks in the distance were, 
to my questioning heart, the crystal pillars of the throne 
of God, I knelt on the river-bank and prayed with my 



378 A Soil of Old Harry. 

face toward them. It was a long time since I had dared 
to pray. Even then, I asked nothing- for myself . I did 
not expect to be forgiven the wrong I had done — did 
not think I could be forgiven, I had regretted the 
wrong, but had not repented of it. I was not sure that 
under like conditions I would not repeat it, terrible as 
its consequences had been. I only prayed for her — that 
her white soul might not be stained by my sin. In the 
infinite stillness of that primeval sanctuary, I asked the 
Eternal to take from me my one joy — the hope of meet- 
ing recognition in her waking eyes — if thereby only she 
might be saved from stain. It was a fearful request to 
make of Omnipotence. 

Suddenly the earth seemed whirling aimlessly in radi- 
ant, gusty, freezing space. The river-bank, the work of 
unnumbered ages of erosion, crumbled beneath my trem- 
bling knees. Instinctively, I scrambled up the falling 
mass, with difficulty escaping engulfment in the dashing 
torrent. The moon was swaying in the firmament. 
The earth was throbbing with an angry roar. The 
mountain peaks were rocking in their places. The cold 
sweat stood upon my brow when I secured once more a 
firm foothold. What was the significance of this con- 
vulsion, following swift upon my prayer ? Did the 
Almighty mean to indicate a way in which it might 
receive fulfilment ? Had " the canon 'gainst self- 
slaughter " been intermitted in my case ? It seemed 
so to me, and I accepted the omen without murmuring. 
I suppose all men are more or less superstitious, and 
both my long seclusion and my recent exultation had 
endowed me with that peculiar egotism which counts a 
single soul the center of the universe and regards nature's 
manifestations as designed for individual warning and 
behoof. At least, this was the construction I put upon 
what then occurred. It was too slight a shock to be 



Light Upo7i the Mountains. ^^(^ 

termed an earthquake — just one of those angry roars 
by which Nature seems to assert her sentiency. 

Not willing to act under excitement, however, I walked 
down to the paddock and whistled to Abdallah. The 
old horse came at my call. I petted his grizzled muzzle, 
took the foot he lifted up in customary greeting, shook 
it as if he had been a man and bade him farewell. Then 
I went to where Damon was kept. He was the one visi- 
ble token of a past blazoned with honor ; I remembered 
how proudly I had ridden him through the city's streets, 
when we celebrated the jubilee of peace — the grand 
review. How long ago it seemed ! Only she had ridden 
him since. The gallant troop-horse seemed older than 
the bay, who was his senior by some years. Was it 
because the service had told on him, or had the Gray 
Eagle strain detracted from the vigor of the Belmont 
mare ? The children of Diomed are not long-lived like 
the offspring of Messenger. I thought of these things 
as he came obedient to my call. His silver crest was 
held as high and proudly as ever, but there were white 
hairs scattered thickly in the seal-brown coat. 

It was a sad parting. He was the ghost of my buried 
life. I had never ridden him since he had returned to 
my possession. Only honor and pride and good repute 
had ever sat upon his withers. I would permit none but 
her to mount him. My only quarrel with Jacques had 
been when I found him once with his foot in the stirrup 
ready to spring upon Damon's back. I should have 
killed him if he had done so. He shrank away from me 
white and terrified at my unreasoning wrath. He had 
no purpose to offend. In explanation of my act, I took 
him into the house and showed him a photograph of 
myself at the head of my command. It was the only 
relic of the past I had retained. The honest-hearted 



380 A So)i of Old Harry. 

fellow looked at it a moment, the tears coming into his 
eyes. 

" I understand," he said. 

Then I tore the picture in twain and threw the pieces 
into the fire. Terror came over his face again as he 
looked up at me and softly withdrew, leaving me alone 
with the ashes of my past. 

I bade good-bye to my old war-horse, and turned back 
toward the house. There was no one else to whom I 
needed to say farewell. The child of Old Harry was 
beyond the pale of human friendship. The devil's luck 
had worn itself out at last. Not one in all the world knew 
of his existence. Only one weak soul had had a dream 
that he still lived. There were no preparations to be 
made. My will had long since been prepared. My 
estate would insure her comfort ; after that my sisters, 
should they require it, and the family of Hubert Good- 
win's wife Kitty, according to their propinquity to her. 
Poor Kitty ! What would she say to me when we met 
across the river? " Across the river !" I even smiled 
at the double significance of the phrase. What would 
she say when we met ? I laughed aloud at the thotight. 
We should 7iot meet ! I recognized that as an immut- 
able truth. And echo even came back from my old, old 
life : " Where I go ye cannot come !" 

My old life ! When I was waiting for a " call !" And 
/ had thought to proclaim the Word of Life to dying 
souls ! I shuddered at the remembrance. Yet I had 
not been a hypocrite, and had never meant to do any 
wrong ; I had only been unable to see what was right. 
It was well that the struggle was so nearly over. I felt 
really glad to think that being dead I should at least be 
harmless. I had never seriously contemplated suicide 
before, and found the thought really pleasing. The 
idea that one might end responsibility for even unin- 



Light Upon the Mountains, 381 

tended harm to others was very consoling. There are 
a few who do evil purposely, but a thousand times as 
many who cause suffering by inadvertance, ignorance 
and folly. I wonder if the Christ hated the wicked as 
much as he pitied the weak ? 

I would not go into the house, lest proximity to her 
might unman me, but looked long and tenderly at it in 
the white silent moonlight, and breathed a prayer for her 
who slept within its quiet walls. Then I walked toward 
the river-bank, feeling happy and peaceful. The mys- 
tery of my life would be forever hidden in the rushing 
stream. No one would find my body or know my fate. 
Perhaps the shelving bank would give a clue ; no mat- 
ter ; the miles of foaming water below would hide it 
forever. 

Then occurred a most wonderful thing. I had 
approached within ten steps of the river. I was not at 
all excited . What I was about to do seemed altogether 
right and proper. I was even grateful to the kind 
Omniscience which had sent so unmistakable an omen 
in answer to my prayer. I was walking firmly and 
briskly toward the bridge, deeming it better to leap 
from the middle of the span, where the full force of the 
current would surely carry me down. I was not think- 
ing of anything but the business in hand. At this 
moment I heard a voice say : 

" Hubert ?" 

I was not surprised or alarmed and could not have 
been mistaken. The word was uttered clearly and dis- 
tinctly ; the tone was familiar. There was neither 
entreaty nor command in it. It was merely an accus- 
tomed call — nothing more. T turned my head inquir- 
ingly, and saw a woman standing on the porch, which 
was flooded with moonlight from end to end. It was 
not ten minutes since I had been within five yards of 



382 A Son of Old Harjy. 

that very spot. She was clad in white, not ghost-like, 
but apparently a morning-gown of some soft material, 
and there were roses on her bosom, I did not need to 
ask her name. I knew it was my wife — Kitty ! 

" Hubert !" she repeated. 

I did not doubt that she was dead. Whether her pres- 
ence meant pity or punishment, I did not know. So far 
as I was concerned, I did not care. My only thought 
was of her — a vague, wild fear that harm had befallen 
her. 

I walked hastily back to the porch. She held out her 
hand. I went up the steps and took it, ray eyes falling 
beneath her calm, steady gaze. We passed into the house 
and along the hall into the room wh ere the other lay. When 
I went out it had been dark. Now there was a light in 
the room adjoining which I had fitted up as a bedroom 
years before, in the wild hope that she would some time 
occupy it. It was a dainty affair — for the wilderness, 
that is. No one had ever slept there. Indeed, the door 
had hardly been opened a dozen times since it was fur- 
nished. I had shown it to her once — in an hour of 
weakness. The door was open now and a lamp burning 
within. The light shone upon the placid face of the 
sleeper. She led me close beside the sofa, and after a 
moment said : 

" Hubert, you must never desert her." 

She tone was reproachful, but very tender. I bowed 
humbly without looking up. . 

" Take her away," she continued, " as soon as she is 
able to travel, and never let her know what has hap- 
pened in the past." 

There was nothing unnatural about this apparition. 
Her face was white, indeed, and her voice a little trem- 
ulous, The touch of her hand was as it used to be — ■ 



Light Upon the Momitains. 383 

except that it, too, trembled in my listless clasp. I was 
overwhelmed with confusion and could not answer. 

" Remember," she said, " I have forgiven yourunfaith- 
fulness to me because of your faitlffulness to her." 

Somehow, I had expected ever since I had heard her 
summons to find a corpse upon the sofa, I stooped and 
touched the hand that lay outside the coverlet ; it was 
soft and warm. I felt her pulse ; it was beating calmly. 
I was stupefied with amazement. 

" She will live," said the other, assuringly. I was 
overwhelmed with gratitude at her unexpected mag- 
nanimity. I think I must have fainted then, for the 
next thing I recall she was holding a glass to my lips 
containing the same decoction I had given her. I swal- 
lowed it in obedience to her dictation. I noted its bit- 
terness, and wondered dumbly if she had given me an 
overdose — if that was to be her revenge, the penalty for 
my unfaithfulness. I did not seem to mind very greatly 
if it were. Then she led me into the bedroom, and 
drew the coverlet over me when I had fallen stupidly 
upon the unused couch. 

She was standing by the bedside when I fell asleep, 
I thought she kissed me and that I heard her sobbing 
as she stole away. 

I suppose it must have been a dream ; but it was so 
real that for months I did not go to sleep without living 
it all over again. If it had not been for a landslide on 
the river-bank opposite the house, the marks of my 
scramble up it and the evidence of my exertion to save 
myself, which were all evident enough when the morn- 
ing came, I should have thought the whole thing a delu- 
sion. But there was no such thing as doubting the fall 
of the bank the waters had undermined, my scarred 
hands or torn clothes. How I managed to escape I can- 
not conceive. The exertion must have wearied me very 



384 A Son of Old Harry. 

greatly, though I did not notice it, probably because 
of the exalted mood I was in at that particular time. 
Feeling the necessity of rest, I must have gone into the 
house, lighted the laAp, and taken the opiate, from the 
effect of which, no doubt, the dream resulted. 

It is possible, however, that I fell asleep lying beside 
the stream, after the exertion to escape engulfment by 
the crumbling bank, and dreamed all that seemed to 
have happened afterwards. There was one thing I 
could never account for, however. When I awoke, just 
as the dawn was coming on, and tumbling out of the 
luxurious bed whose spotless linen was flecked with the 
sand and gravel which had fallen from my clothes, and 
went into the other room, I found her sleeping peace- 
fully with a bunch of white roses on her bosom — the 
same I had dreamed that Kitty wore the night before. 
She evidently had not moved. I suppose I must have 
picked them from our little conservatory where they 
were blooming, while in a somnambulistic state, and 
placed them there. I felt very weak, as was but natural 
after a night of such excitement. Nevertheless, I knelt 
down beside the couch where she lay slumbering so 
peacefully, and uttered a prayer of thankfulness for the 
vision I had seen. My heart was lightened by the 
assurance that Kitty, though dead, had forgiven me. 

When she awoke, I saw at once the old light in her 
eyes. 

" Why, Jack !" she cried — and the remembered tones 
echoed like heavenly music out of the desert of the past 
— what are you doing here ?" 

" Hush ! Hush !" I exclaimed, bending over and 
kissing the lips I had not touched in all these years. 
" You must not ask me any more questions — you must 
not think — only trust me. Will you not, darling ?" 

*' Why, of course I will, Jack, * forever and ever,' " 



Light Upon the Mountains. 385 

she answered, with a bright smile ; " only T wish you 
would tell me what has changed you so. I should not 
know you — if — if it were not you.'' 

She passed her hand tenderly over my hair and beard 
as she spoke, but there was none of the old pitiful 
uncertainty in her tone and manner. 

" Wait I" I said. " Let me bring you something to eat, 
and then I will allow you to ask — ^let me see — three 
questions — ^not any more to-day." 

I shook my finger at her with assumed imperiousness 
and went into the other room. A lamp was burning 
under the coffee-urn. It was evident that Louise had 
been early astir to provide fresh nourishment against 
her awakening. I took her a cup of the steaming bever- 
age, some slices of bread and butter and a glass of milk. 
What rapture it was to see her eat ! 

" Why, Jack," she said, noticing my delight, " one 
would think you never saw me eat before." 

I answered her exclamation only with a loving smile. 

" Now," she said, when she had finished her light 
repast, " for my three questions. I think you are very 
mean to restrict me to three when you know I want to ask 
so many. Of course, I want to know where I am and 
how I came here ; how long I have been ill and what has 
been the matter, and — why, Jack, I could ask questions 
all day !" 

" Yes, I know ; and that is why you must ask but 
three. There are days enough coming, dear, and you 
will have nothing else to do." 

*' Well, then — where am I ?" 

" In my house." 

" Your house ?" she said, surveying it critically. "I 
don't think I ever saw such a one before." 

It had not occurred to me how strange the house, 
made chiefly of hewn logs, must seem to her. 



386 A So7i of Old Harry. 

" How long have you lived here ?" she asked, turn- 
ing to me after a moment. 

" Oh — a good while," carelessly. 

" How long have I been — sick. Jack ?" 

There was a troubled look upon her face. I dreaded 
the effect of answering the inquiry, yet judged it best 
not to avoid it. 

** What is the last thing you remember ?" 

" Oh, you know, Jack. There was war, and you said 
you were going — and — " 

"That was in 1861." 

"Of course — I know that." 

" And now it is — " 

I paused to let her think a moment and then held up 
before her a calendar which I took from my pocket. 

A grave look of wonder and incredulity came into 
the gray eyes as they scanned the figures. I answered 
the appeal with a confirmatory nod. 

" I see," she said at length, with a sigh. " I see." 

It was the only allusion ever made by either of us as 
to what her condition had been. 

" And you have taken care of me ? How good !" 

I trembled at this lapse into the language of her other 
life. 

" How good !" she repeated — " How^ood. ? Isn't your 
name Ifozcgood, now ?" 

I bowed affirmatively 

" Just so ; I remember — Jack Howgood. It used to 
be Jack — Jack — What was it ?" 

" I have forgotten," 

" You mean you wish me to forget. " 

" It might be as well." 

"Well, I will not try to remember ; for. Jack," — her 
voice became grave and tender — " I am never going to 



Light Upon the Mountains. ^i^^j 

do what you do not wish me to again. You don't know 
what I suffered for — for thatT 

"There, there," I said, soothingly, " don't think of it ! 
That is all over now." 

" Yes, it's all over — all over," she added, meditatively. 
" Jack, I must be an old woman !" 

I rose and handed her a mirror, smiling at the 
response it would make to her inquiry. 

" I don't look so very old, do I ?" she asked, with a 
touch of her old coquettishness. 

" I don't think you are any older than you were — 
then," I said, stopping to kiss her. 

** Ah, that is because you love me," archly, " You do 
love me, don't you, Jack ?" 

She stretched out her hands imploringly, letting the 
mirror fall upon the couch beside her. I took her in 
my arms and answered her question with an embrace 
more assuring than any words. Presently she disen- 
gaged herself, pushed me gently away, and, looking 
searchingly in my face, said : 

" Am I — are we — married. Jack ?" 

A soft flush mounted to her cheeks as she made the 
inquiry. 

" Not yet, dear," I answered, gently. 

"Ah, I — I thought we had been." 

She was silent for a moment. 

" But we shall be ? You are not married. Jack ?" 

" You shall be my wife, dear, just as soon as you are 
well enough." 

"And until then?" 

" You will remain as you have been, my sister. But 
you must not ask any more questions now." 

" I understand," she answered, gravely, after a 
moment's silence. " And you will take care of me. 



A Son of Old Harry. 



Then — " she added with a merry laugh, ** I think I will 
go to sleep again." 

It was curious how easily she became fatigued. She 
would wake up bright and cheery, and after a few min- 
utes drop off again to sleep. Her physical health 
was of the best, but her brain seemed incapable of 
anything more than the most trivial exertion. Little 
things did not worry her, but serious matters seemed 
beyond her capacity She was a child although a woman. 

The attendant who had been with her for more 
than a year was ill the next morning. She was a 
very intelligent and faithful woman, who had been 
sent to us by Van Wyck, when Louise's domestic duties 
made it necessary for her to relax her attention. I had 
never observed her very closely, though, of course, as 
her attendant, she had the run of my house as well as 
the other. Indeed, there were no bolts or bars at Tete 
de Loup, there being no need for any. There was but 
one thing to be concealed, and that was hidden in my 
heart. As I said, I had never given any thought to the 
presence of this attendant. She was kindly, attentive and 
a lady. That was enough. I do not think I am as gen- 
erally observant of women as many, and since I had her 
in my charge I naturally thought only of her. The 
woman had fallen easily into our life, though she never 
manifested the same affection for her as she had dis- 
played to the red-cheeked, wholesome and demonstra- 
tive Louise. This woman had often predicted her recov- 
ery, and expressed a desire that she might never see her 
afterward, as she would be so unlike the loving, tender- 
hearted child she had known. 

Louise took her old place as maid, and, at my sugges- 
tion, spoke only French to her new mistress. The arti- 
fice not only diverted her attention from her environ- 
ment, but prevented troublesome inquiries. She began 



Light Upon the Mountains. 389 

at once to recall her vocabulary of French words, and, 
as I had hoped might be the case, did not recognize her 
attendant as one she had ever seen before. This cost 
Louise some tears, though she protested her joy at the 
fact, since it meant recovery. 

In a day or two she began visibly to droop, I had 
not allowed her to go out of the house, and at my 
request she had refrained from, looking out of the 
window. I remembered Doctor Talcott's assurance 
that the most dangerous of all things in such cases was 
a too sudden joinder of the old and new consciousness, 
and feared the effect of recognition of her old surround- 
ings. " Different environments, variety of scene, but 
few faces," he had declared to be the conditions most 
favorable to recovery. " Many a feeble brain," he once 
said, " lapses again into insanity from being constantly 
confronted with the surroundings of his diseased con- 
dition." 

So I decided to take her away. It was a long jour- 
ney to civilization then ; but there were settlements 
here and there, and the mountains and prairies were in 
the glow of early summer. I dreaded her antipathy to 
travelling in a carriage, but thought if we could once 
get her beyond familiar scenes the conditions would be 
favorable, and she could make the rest of the journey 
on horseback. The silence, the distance and the soft 
surprises of the plains, it seemed to me, would be 
exactly what she required. We started at night. She 
was sleeping soundly from the efEects of an opiate when 
I placed her in the carriage. Jacques and Louise were 
with me, and one of the grooms had gone forward to our 
first camping-place, with a string of led-horses. Never 
have I been so grateful for the horses of Tete de Loup 
as on that journey. Before she woke we had made the 
first stage, and when morning came her delight in 



390 A Son of Old Harry. 

everything was almost pitiful to witness. When I lifted 
her into the saddle after our morning meal, she was 
more like herself than she had been at any time before. 
How rapturous was that first day's ride with the newly- 
wakened soul who did not know that her eyes had ever 
witnessed before the beauties which now delighted 
them. We did not hasten our journey. It would have 
been folly to do so. Each day found her brighter, 
stronger, more fully restored. When we finally bade 
our faithful attendants farewell, it was to hasten to a 
quiet nook by the seashore, and after loitering there a 
few months, to make that journey abroad for which she 
had pleaded in vain so many years before. 



CHAPTER V. 



SUNSHINE AND SHADOW. 



It is wonderful how readily w e made our transition 
back into the world's life on returning from abroad. 
Already we had become known in more than one 
European capital as the Howgoods. As my bank 
account was ample we were sometimes referred to as 
the rich Howgoods, and, as we were indifferent to pat- 
ronage and favor, the fair woman and white-bearded 
man, who loitered where they listed in the ways of 
foreign travel, found themselves regarded first as some- 
what eccentric and finally as quite the thing among 
their countrymen. It was curious thus to come into 
the swirl of life again. It was with no set purpose that 
we thus made our advent in the society of our native 
land bj^ way of Sandy Hook. Had it been deeply 



Sunshine and Shadow. 391 

planned, however, no better scheme could have been 
devised. So many had met us abroad that we found 
ourselves already well known at home. A civilization 
always ready to assimilate anything that stands on a 
gold basis opened its doors to us without hesitation. No 
one questioned who we were because so many knew 
already what we were. 

There was, no doubt, the flavor of Western origin 
about us. " Old Howgood " was still a reminiscence in 
Denver, but so few had known him that he was little 
more than that. It is doubtful if any one really 
thought the connection between us anything closer 
than comes by inheritance. Whether I was a brother 
or son of the eccentric financier nobody seemed quite 
able to determine, but I think few accepted my denial 
of relationship with him, and, so far as I am aware, 
none suspected my identity. 

How easily we fitted into the life of the great metro- 
polis ! A luxurious home, a stable income and a luck 
which rarely failed to add something to the sum total 
of my holdings, whatever the turn of the market — they 
were enough had there been even less of personal 
merit than the Howgoods might justly claim. But she 
won all hearts by simple, unaffected kindliness. It 
was amazing how humble she was and how solicitous 
of others' happiness. We did not go into society much, 
but society came to us — to her rather — for I do not 
think it cared so much for me. But she was a magnet 
that drew all natures. She was not gay and yet the 
butterflies loved her ; nor sad, yet the bereaved sought 
her. The rich admired her without envy, and the 
poor blessed her for her benefactions. We did not 
embark upon the stream of pleasure nor give enter- 
tainments. There was always a feeling, though we 
never spoke of it, that she coiild not endure such excite- 



392 A Soil of Old Harry. 

ment ; but the world streamed in and out at our door, 
asking only leave to come. 

Yet we were curiously alone. She called me Jack. 
That was the only thing that linked us with the past. 
In the years that followed there was little worth 
recording, save the fact of our love ; unless, indeed, 
my success in that wild game of chance, which we 
call business, may be thought worthy of mention. I 
played it only for the pleasure I derived from it, and 
enjoyed to the full the delights of loss and gain. The old 
luck has been with me, and the mark of Old Harry 
would not let me rest. 

So far as I am aware, no one ever suspected my 
identity with the disgraced and forgotten man whose 
name I once bore. As for her, I told her the story so 
far as was necessary. Of course, the shadow rested 
always over us — or rather over me — the strange haunt- 
ing fear of discovery. With this fear she seemed to 
sympathize. It drew us closer together, and, despite 
our station in life, kept us apart from other lives. We 
had troops of acquaintances, but made no friends. 
The past was dead : we had trodden it under our feet ; 
but we could not ask others to tread upon its ashes 
also. Until the young nurse came, I doubt if she ever 
met a woman whom she felt inclined to trust. At the 
very last the old trouble came very near to her again. 
She seemed for a while to have a double consciousness, 
but through them both shot one ray of light — her 
unvarying love and trust in "Jack." I doubt if she 
really understood that I had ever been anything else 
or even had been other than what I was. I have often 
thought she never fully recalled the names under 
which we once knew each other or the events of our 
early life. We never spoke of the past except once or 
twice, and then only vaguely and briefly, I thought 



Sunshine and Shadow. 393 

sometimes that she had a strange antipathy to the 
name we bore ; but thought it only a fancy until the very 
last. There was no reason why she should so regard it. 
It is a good name — my name, her name. Mine by 
creation, mine by right, mine by law — and by me legally 
and lovingly bestowed upon her. It is the symbol of a 
loyalty as perfect as the stanchest type of steadfastness. 
Never once while she lived did I feel any desire to go 
back and be what I was before. 

It is a good name — so good that it will make a draft 
of seven figures worth its face in gold in any market of 
the world. It is an honorable name, too ; a name of 
which I am proud because I made it both good and 
honorable. It came to me unspotted with evil, unlight- 
ened with good — out of darkness, void, oblivion. It 
brought no heritage of honor or dishonor, success or 
failure. It brought no moral or intellectual bias, no 
attainder of blood, no obligation of kinship. It is mine 
by creation, mine by adoption, mine by the law's con- 
firmation, mine by the ineradicable brand of sin and 
shame. In all the world there is not one who can claim 
affiliation through it. I alone have worn it — I and she 
— and with me it will disappear. As it was born of love 
for her, I made it honorable and kept it clean for her 
sake. Our name I How proud I was of it when I 
inscribed it upon the register of the hotel of which I 
was to remain so long a guest ! 

" John Howgood and wife, ) ^ y . „ 
Miss Katherine Parks. \ ^^^ ^°^^- 

That was the record of our advent. How obsequious 
the landlord became when he had read it. Why should he 
not be } He who can command any service he desires 
honors him whose service he accepts. I engaged rooms 
for a day. She was not well ; that is why she traveled 



394 -^ '^^^ ^f ^^^ Hariy. 

with an attendant ; why we stopped here ; why we 
traveled at all, indeed. All places were alike irksome 
and hateful to me while the cloud rested over her. Yet 
the name does not adorn her tombstone. It was her 
desire, and that is more potent than man's law or even 
God's command to me. I think I would willingly break 
all laws to fulfill the slightest wish of hers. 

It was no light affliction to me that I might not carve 
upon her tomb the name I had made for her and shared 
with her so long. I loved it and could not bear to think 
that it would drop back into unnoted oblivion when I 
should die. It is known almost the world over. It has 
been at the fore in good deeds and bears the stain of no 
evil purpose upon it. Yet if she must sleep without it, 
so will I. I wonder if I could persuade the nurse to 
wear it. She was very fond of her, and during the days 
which have since elapsed has been very kind to me. 
Somehow, I feel as if it would please her to have one 
whom she loved bear our name. I would have proposed 
it and made the nurse my heir long ago if she would 
have consented ; but she is proud — very proud and very 
unjust, I think also. Pray God she may not be mercen- 
ary ! Yet why should I blame her if she be ? Who am 
I that I should cavil at another's imperfections ? Why 
should I care anything about her indeed? Yet I do 
care and am in constant fear lest she should go away 
and leave me. I do not understand the feeling. 
Perhaps it is because she commended her to my care 
so earnestly. 

To my care ! It would have been more to the pur- 
pose had she commended me to her care. I am alone 
now, helpless and unloved, unless, perchance, the nurse 
has some little compassion for me. Money can buy 
service ; but it cannot buy tenderness — love. And I am 
hungry for love — not such as she gave me, but for the 



Sunshine and Shadow. 395 

love that crowns the close of life — a child's love. The 
lust of possession is dead — I desire now only to be pos- 
sessed, claimed, prized — to be for a little while the 
centre of some life's thought, and afterward cherished 
as a pleasant memory. Ah, if the nurse were my child 
— if she would only be my daughter ! Yet until that 
day — that saddest of all days — I had hardly noted her 
existence. Perhaps it is because she came to me out of 
the cloud that she seems now so resplendent to my 
thought. 

How ever}i;hing has changed ! Only two short 
months ago my life was at the zenith. The love which 
had shone steadily through so many years was to the 
last unclouded. Then came the night ! How swift it 
fell ! How impenetrable its darkness ! I, that was so 
much, am less than nothing ! The world does not count 
me even a potentiality — only the shadow of what was 
once a power. Yet T am not unhappy. I am even glad 
that she did not have to bear the burden of isolation 
which now presses down on me. I am sure it would 
have been more than she could have endured. She 
might even have fallen back into the abyss from which 
my love had rescued her. I am glad, too, that she 
knew no lingering, wasting woe. It was as she had 
always wished — as she was in life so she smiled in 
death. 

When they thought all was over — when they told me 
she was dead, I was like one rent with mortal agony. 
She must have heard me and come back from the dread 
unknown in answer to my cry. The life-light came 
once more into her eyes ; the bloom of youth glowed 
one moment more upon her cheeks. Her hair shone 
like spun gold in the sunshine. "Jack," she said. 
Then while the glory faded from her face, we heard her 
lips repeating the lines with which she had answered 



396 A Son of Old Harry. 

my prayer for love in that other life which lay beyond 
the verge of one long night : 

" If I should fade 
Into those mystic realms where light is made, 
And you should long once more my face to see ; 
I would come forth upon the hills of night, 
And gather stars like faggots, till thy sight 
Led by the beacon-blaze fell full on me." 

It was enough. I never looked upon her face again . 
Why should I regard the mold while the rose was yet 
fresh in my memory .' 

Two days afterward, we bore her to the grave. Poor 
dear. It was the first carriage-ride she had taken in 
many years without moaning and trembling with fear. 
I was full of terror lest even the cold heart should throb 
with agony as the nicely balanced hearse swung to and 
fro under the weight of the heavy casket. It was an 
imposing procession that followed it, though we were 
strangers in the city. The rich never lack for sympa- 
thy. It is only those who need assistance to whom we 
forget to offer it. A leading citizen had begged to be 
allowed to place his private carriage at my disposal. I 
feared there was a sinister purpose behind the offer — 
the rich must always be suspicious — but I accepted, and 
asked the young nurse who had closed her eyes to share 
it with me. I was afraid the minister who was to offi- 
ciate would be forced upon my privacy and might seek 
to offer consolation. She seemed surprised at my 
request. I had hardly noticed before how young and 
attractive she was, nor how like one of us she had 
grown in the long months during which we had watchen 
together the fading life. For she had not sickened and 
died ; she had only faded and exhaled. 



Sunshine and Shadow. 397 

" There will be no other mourners," I explained. 

" No relatives ? 

I shook my head. '* There are none." 

" None ?" 

** None who — no, none — not one," I answered, irri- 
tably. 

She asked no more questions. I was "afraid she 
would refuse. I knew that she had come to love the 
gentle girl who had attended her so faithfully in those 
last days. Besides, I shrank from being the sole 
mourner at her grave. It seemed as if it would appear 
like a reproach to her purity if no woman bent above 
her resting-place wearing the habiliments of grief. I 
had not realized before how terribly she had been 
cursed by my act — by a past which, though dead, was 
yet potent to doom. Of friends we had no lack, but of 
those to whom nature gives the right to mourn there 
were none who would know of her death — or, knowing, 
would have cared. The nurse still hesitated, or seemed 
to hesitate. 

" I thought you loved her," I said, with unreasoning 
bitterness. 

" Oh, I did — as if I were her daughter !" she 
exclaimed, in passionate protest. 

Her daughter ! How the words startled me ! If she 
only had been ! 

" Will you not be ?" I asked, impulsively. 

She looked up at me incredulous — reproachful, I 
thought. 

" Not my daughter," I said, humbly—" hers.'' 

She smiled sadly. 

" For a few days, if — if you desire it to be so." 

Her voice trembled ; it was low and sweet. I think 
it comforted me. I was seized with an overwhelming 
desire to keep her near me. 



398 A Son of Old Harry. 

" Why not forever ?" I asked, earnestly. 

** I am very sorry — for you," she replied, seeming not 
to heed my question. 

^^ She loved you," I said, apologetically. I was not 
even angry that she should doubt me. 

Tears came into the beautiful eyes. She bowed her 
head, but made no reply. 

I construed the gesture to mean assent, and told those 
in charge of the preparations that I had adopted her. 
She gazed up at me in surprise when she heard the 
words. I would have provided mourning for her, but 
she would not permit. The black gown she wore was 
not new. I wondered for whom it had been worn 
before. I was glad she was to be my companion. She 
would at least ask no questions. Ah, me ! it was a sad 
thing for her. Yet many envied her, no doubt, as she 
took my arm and walked beside me to the carriage; 
It is a nice thing to be heir-presumptive of a man whose 
wealth is a matter of common knowledge to the whole 
country. I could not but note the envious glances cast 
upon her by the assembled company as we followed our 
dead through the long corridor. They made my 
thoughts bitterer and the world lonelier. She seemed 
to understand it all. How kind she was in that last ride ! 
I do not think I can ever forget her tenderness. Was 
it disinterested ? Would she have shrunk from me had 
she known the truth ? 

It was a splendid span which drew our carriage. My 
eye noted that unconsciously when it came back from 
following the casket as it was placed carefully in the 
hearse. I wondered if the insensate clay perchance felt 
any jar, and reproached myself for not having per- 
sonally examined the vehicle which was to bear her to 
the grave. It would be cruel to jostle even her dead 
dust. There was no embalming. I would allow no 



Simshine and Shadow. 399 

stranger's hand to touch her. The faithful nurse and I 
had placed her in the casket. It was a soft, white 
couch, and the iron case was a safe receptacle. The 
undertaker had screwed down the lid, and I myself had 
locked it at head and foot. It was a notion of mine. 
Even in the grave I would not yield possession of her. 
She was mine — still mine ! 

Our coachman had a mourning band upon his hat. 
As we came down the steps I noticed that the close- 
clipped browns were restless. I could see the muscles 
twitching under their silky hides, and one stretched out 
a lithe fore-leg and daintily but impatiently scraped the 
pavement with his toe-calk, as if to hint that the spring- 
ing tendons could not long be denied opportunity for 
action. Despite my grief I sympathized with him, and 
involuntarily glanced again at him and his mate. I 
knew them in an instant, though I had never seen them 
before. They were too distinguished in ancestry and 
achievement not to be recognizable by one having any 
knowledge of the quick-steppers whose records illumin- 
ated the trotting register. I comprehended at once 
why they had been sent me and was grateful. There 
was no footman, but the owner himself held open the 
door, hat in hand. He was a stranger, but I gave him 
a glance which he must have understood. He knew I 
was a lover of horses, and had sent his matchless span 
out of respect for my bereavement. It was a little 
thing, but it touched me. One gets tired of being 
regarded only for the money he represents. 

It seemed a sympathetic company which had gathered 
to do honor to the woman none of them had known.* 
but I shrank from their gaze. The nurse reached out 
and drew the curtains between me and them. We must 
have waited a long time while the train of carriages 
received their occupants, for there were many carriages 



400 A Son of Old Harry. 

though but two mourners. At last I heard the wheels 
of the hearse grate upon the pavement. I would have 
given my heart to ease the jar even of the cold clay. I 
must have writhed in agony. The nurse put her hand 
upon my arm. The touch soothed me. I did not see 
her, yet I icnew she was not looking at me, but out of 
the window with a handkerchief pressed to her lips, 
weeping. Why should she weep ? 



CHAPTER VI. 

A GOOD BIT OF WORK. 

It was over in a flash, but it was something to stir 
one's blood while it lasted. When a span of well-bred 
trotters really break away, they are the worst of all ani- 
mals to control. There is not only the fierce desire of 
the thoroughbred to go — the wild delight of racing with 
each other and the wind — and the indomitable courage 
which makes the trotter, after all, the very finest type of 
the horse ; but there is also the consciousness of wrong- 
doing to add wings to their speed. When the trotter 
breaks his stroke, he knows he is doing a forbidden thing 
and expects to be punished. The fear of this adds to the 
frenzy which impels him to the unaccustomed gait. 

I do not know what startled them. I remembered 
afterwards that they had been restive all the way to the 
cemetery, though I thought nothing of it then. The 
driver was a new one, and lacked confidence, I judge. I 
did not observe the change of gait at first, being accus- 
tomed to rapid driving, and my heart being in the grave 
we had just seen heaped up. The light had gone out of 



A Good Bit of Work. 401 

my life and the darkness had settled down close about 
me. Black hopelessness had suddenly succeeded a joy 
so keen that few realized its effulgence. Others, no 
doubt, love ; but I had known nothing but love and what 
I had gained for love's sweet sake. The change was 
from noonday to midnight. I seemed to grope rather 
than walk from that red mound to the carriage. I saw 
no one, though I knew many were watching me pity- 
ingly — curiously. I could only wonder what she would be 
in the life beyond — if there is any light or life beyond 
the grave — and what would be her thought of me when 
she looked back and saw what lay behind the vail which 
had clouded her knowledge here. Would she ever look 
beyond it ? Would she ever know the truth ? I hoped 
not. Selfish as it seems, I think I would rather she 
should be forever dead — that she should be no more — 
than know the truth. It is a terrible thought, but I am 
weak — fearfully weak — and I loved her so ! 

No, no ! Let me take it back — blot it out ! Let it be 
unsaid ! It is not true. I would rather endure all wo- 
fulness forever than that she should miss a moment's joy. 
That is all I can do — all I have ever done. This fact is 
the key of my life — its one redeeming feature — my sole 
excuse if any palliation is possible. If I sinned, it was 
for love, and I will suffer for it, if need be — willingly, 
gladly, eternally. But harm her not, oh. Fate ! Touch 
not her white soul ! Let her not miss one thrill of rap- 
ture nor feel one throb of woe ! If penalty there must 
be, let it fall on me. Even into nothingness — eternal 
nothingness — I would gladly sink to save her a single 
pang! 

These thoughts and wilder, bitterer, sweeter ones 
were in my mind strangely intermingled, as we took our 
way back to the hotel, when suddenly the nurse clasped 
my arm. I looked at her like one just wakened from a 



402 A Son of Old Harry. 



dream. Her face showed very white against the mourn- 
ing bonnet. We were simply flying ; that is the only 
word to express the sensation. The light carriage in 
v/hich we were shut up was as nothing to the high-bred 
beasts striving to outdo each other. I knew at once that 
the only thing to be done was to choose the least fre- 
quented streets ; steer clear of obstructions and let them 
go until they had had their fling and were ready to set- 
tle down to steady work. I pulled open the window and 
shouted this to the driver. Poor fellow ! One will 
never know whether he heard or not. 

I put my left arm about the nurse, knowing that it 
would be better for her in case we were overturned — 
especially if I fell underneath, as I would try to do. I 
was sorry then that she had come with me, and said 
something of the kind. I do not know what answer she 
made, but she was very composed for one in such peril, 
I do not think I ever rode so fast in my life — not since 
the great race, at least. 

Fortunately, few of the Southern city's streets were 
paved. A glance showed me where we were, and the 
character of the road "before us. A few blocks away a 
public square lay across our path. On the side we 
approached, it had been cut down sheer aboufsix or eight 
feet, to the grade of the streets along the other fronts. 
At one corner it rose higher, at the other the wall was 
somewhat lower. The inclosure was thickly shaded 
with ancient oaks, now clothed in the soft, tender leaf- 
age of spring-time, through which the sun shone with a 
mellow, opaline light. Through the openings in the 
foliage one caught sight of a massive heap of weather- 
beaten granite. The square was walled with brick, 
old and crumbling. Upon one corner of it stood an 
unused office, dating back almost to colonial times ; its 
walls cracked and bulging overhung the parapet below. 



A Good Bit of Work. 403 

I thought of these things — not connectedly, as I have 
written them, but in a flash, as one thinks of obstacles 
he must pass in a charge over half- familiar ground. 
To pass the square we must make two sharp turns in 
half a hundred yards. There was little chance of 
doing this in safety. Unless the driver had courage 
enough to put his horses at the wall, we were pretty 
sure to be overturned on one corner or the other, and 
then — well, the streets were paved with cobble-stones 
about the square, and it was easy to guess what would 
be the chances of the occupants of an overturned car- 
riage dragged at the heels of two such horses. The 
motion was easy enough until we struck the pavement, 
a block or two from the square. The horses were fairly 
matched, and their training showed in the evenness of 
their stride. I could not see them, but I knew their 
necks were outstretched, each black muzzle straining 
to get a hair's breadth ahead of the other. Their feet 
touched the earth at regular intervals, with the elastic 
force of a steel spring. I held the girl tightly, so that I 
might be ready to do whatever should seem needful for 
her safety when the crash came. 

Just before we reached the comer I saw a young man 
drop an armful of books and a green bag, and after 
a hurried glance up and down the street, turn and 
run toward the square. I read his thought in an 
instant. The corner was barely twenty steps away, 
but we passed him before he reached it. I glanced at 
him as we went by and knew that the end of our race 
was near, and that this brown-bearded, firm- jawed 
young man would be in at the death. I thought very 
likely it would be a real death, too. I only wondered 
who would die, and hoped it might not be the slender 
creature in my arms, nor the brave young fellow who 
was about to risk hisjife to save us. . 



404 A Son of Old Harry. 

I saw he knew what he was about, but it was a peril- 
ous thing for any one to undertake. He knew the 
horses must slacken their speed in making the turn ; 
the momentum would take them well over toward the 
wall along the side of the square. If they turned to the 
right, he would have the advantage of position, for they 
would have to describe the arc of a circle, while he 
would traverse the chord. Then, if he could get a good 
hold on the reins, he might force them against the wall 
and stop them before they reached the other corner. 

It was a good plan and would have been entirely suc- 
cessful if we had not had to reckon with the masons of 
a century ago. The young man did his part splendidly ; 
that is, he did the right thing — the very best thing that 
could possibly have been done — at exactly the right 
time. One had no need to be told that he was a horse- 
man. Every motion showed it. I could not but admire 
him as he ran, his lips shut, hands well up, chest out, 
not doing his best, but with every muscle strung like 
whip-cord and his eyes fastened on the mane of the 
frantic creature on the off-side as if he were picking out 
the very handful he was going to clutch. That is just 
what he was doing, too. It's a good trick and fairly 
safe, if one has muscle and youth, elastic bones and cool- 
ness on his side. But there is always danger in it, A 
false step, a second's miscalculation — any one of a thous- 
and possibilities — and one who fools with a runaway 
pays the penalty of his folly, no matter how strong or 
nimble he may be. As for me, I could only brace 
myself for the shock. 

When we reached the comer, the horses started to 
go to the left but finally went to the right, swerving 
over toward the wall about the square. The wheels 
upon one side left the pavement ; those upon the 
other creaked and trembled. I threw our imited 



A Good Bit of Work. 405 

weight upon the outside. As I did so, I saw the young- 
man dart by the carriage-window like a flash. I knew 
he had seized the off-horse by the bridle with his right 
hand, twisted his left in the mane, and was hanging a 
dead weight upon his neck, crowding the span nearer 
and nearer to the wall. Then came a jar, a crash, a 
curious, unaccountable rumble. We were overturned, 
of course. I came underneath as I had planned, clasp- 
ing the girl tightly above me. Just as we fell, I saw 
my mistake. We had struck the wall near the cor- 
ner, knocking out the foundation of the old brick 
office, I tried to turn her over and shield her from 
this new peril, but could not move. The frame of 
the carriage somewhat broke the force of the blow, 
but it was not much beneath the weight of the wall, 
more than a foot thick, which toppled over and [crushed 
down upon us. 

It was a good while before I knew anything more. 
They tell me the driver and one of the horses are dead. 
It is too bad : the man was brave if not skillful. The 
horse cannot be replaced. Such a span would be hard 
to duplicate. I may have something the owner would 
count an equivalent, however. The nurse, poor thing, has 
a broken leg ; and I — well, I hardly needed the doctor's 
verdict to understand my situation. The young man 
was unhurt. He is a gallant fellow. He has looked 
after my comfort since as faithfully as if I had been his 
father. 



CHAPTER VII. 



A RETROSPECT, 



Since that day I have been an invalid — or rather as 
one half-dead. The dull limbs defy my will. I live, 
but life is visibly ch ained to death. The future holds 
no hope save that which lives beyond the stars, where 
love will not be sin, and shame will be unknown. I 
have written the story of a strangely disjointed life, and 
the shadows of the past have come trooping to my bed- 
side, mocking my loneliness with the long-forgotten 
yearnings they inspire. I long once more to be what I 
was, and dread to die and be remembered only as what 
I am. It is a strange impulse. I wonder if it is akin 
to that which makes the criminal fear to die until he 
has confessed his crime. It is not fear, but only the 
desire to uncover and reveal the past — to let the world 
know that Hubert Goodwin did not die in that wild 
tempest on the Western plains. I wonder if she felt 
something of this when she refused to sleep beneath the 
shelter of my name ? Or did she think that I had 
shamed and dishonored her purity by bestowing upon 
her a name that neither of us had any right to bear ? 

The thought has troubled me greatly. Was her life 
one long sacrifice to love ? I can hardly realize that 
such may have been the fact ; but why should she ask 
that this name — our name — should not be placed on her 



A Retrospect. 407 

tomb ? Did she recall the past ? Did she, perchance 
remember that she had been another's wife ? Did she 
know or guess that I had been the husband of another ? 
Ah, if she did, how sweet and holy was the sacrifice she 
made to love ! Not one word of regret ! No shadow 
of repining ! If she remembered the past, she must 
have realized something of what I had sacrificed for 
love, and determined not to make my burden heavier by 
revealing any knowledge or suspicion of its existence. 
If she remembered the past, she must have known of 
that fame I trampled in the mire for her sake. Was 
this the secret of her life ? Was this the interpretation 
of her deep humility and the tender pride she always 
manifested in me ? Did she think my act which came 
so near to baseness, was indeed a god-like sacrifice ? 

I can well see how she may have been thus self- 
deceived. I never thought to explain everything to her, 
assuming that she would either but half understand it 
or that she would be happier if the interval of her afflic- 
tion remained a blank. I wondered sometimes that 
she did not ask more — about her mother, about my 
mother, about my life and hers in those sad, silent 
years. But I thought she had forgotten. What if she 
remembered — remembered and was silent ? Perhaps 
it was a mistake. Knowing that no wrong could attach 
to her conduct, it never once occurred to me that she 
might imagine that I had reached out my hand to her 
in that time of half -unconsciousness and leaped with her 
into a gulf of shame that lay hidden under the name of 
which I was so proud — John Howgood. How she must 
have hated it as the mark of infamy — the badge of 
shame which love had imposed upon her helplessness. 

I wonder if it was because of this that at the very 
last, when she saw my grief at her request that our 
name should not be carved upon her tombstone, she 



4o8 A Son of Old Harry. 

expressed a desire that our accumulations — for all I had 
was hers, since I counted gold but dust in comparison 
with her happiness — might be applied to some good use 
which would reflect honor on my name, " Your name, 
Jack ;" that was what she said. If my soul had not 
been blinded with the agony of impending woe, I should 
have known her thought and made her understand the 
truth — that our name was my name lawfully and 
irrevocably ; that on earth as in the dim future I would 
stand only by her side — John Howgood, in time and 
eternity ! She should have understood that the old 
name died with the old life. But she shall know it yet. 
I cannot blazon it above her ashes, but beside them 
shall be placed my own, and on the rugged granite 
block above them shall be carved the words, John 
Howgood. Beside it on the self-same granite — part and 
parcel of it, indeed — shall be a slender shaft, with only 
those words which in her school-girl days she loved to 
repeat : 

" Ilia fuit animce 
Dtmiduuffi mece" 

So the world shall know that in life and death she 
was half my soul. 

The young lawyer has procured several designs for 
me, of which I have chosen one which struck my fancy. 
I showed it to the nurse the other day, and was surprised 
at the feeling she exhibited. It was something more 
than anger — almost fury. If it had not been for the 
burst of tears that quickly followed I should have had 
the worst thoughts of a woman whose conduct seems 
altogether inscrutable. 

I think this very suggestion has turned my thought 
backward with a longing I have never known before. 



A Retrospect. 409 

I cannot help feeling' a strange love for the name I dis- 
graced. I am a Goodwin still, despite the gulf that lies 
betv/een me and the old Goodwin pride. I love the 
sturdy, boisterous, man-defying stock which served 
God and the devil with equal fervor. From the fierce 
Old Harry down to my shrewd, single-hearted uncle, 
there is not one who ever bore the name of whom I am 
not proud ! How they must detest my memory, who, 
of all the race, brought it inexcusable infamy ! I can- 
not forget them. Blood is not only thicker than water, 
it is stronger than the law itself. I wonder if I should 
leave my estate to this proud stock if any of them 
would condescend to take it ? I do not know what my 
uncle's children, my brothers and sisters of the half- 
blood — may be like. I only know that my mother died 
believing in me. It was natural. I was her first-born, 
her idol. Somehow, it seems just, now that there is no 
other love to be considered, that, after some specific 
bequests, I should leave the bulk of my possessions to 
those of my own blood. Perhaps that is what she 
meant. 

Why should I not boldly utter the thought that is in 
my heart ? Why not leave my estate to " the heirs of 
General Hubert Goodwin ?" Then there can be no mis- 
take. Whoever chose to claim under that testament 
would have to acknowledge their unfortunate kins- 
man. Suppose they refuse to take it ? Well^ then it 
shall go to some foundation to do good in his name. 
The name I in life covered with infamy I will make 
honorable again in death. If my kindred will not take 
my bounty, it shall be devoted to some purpose which 
shall take away the stain I cast upon the old name. 
What shall it be ? I have no wrongs to right, unless it 
be to one who is beyond the reach of propitiation — 
whose wrong, indeed, was beyond amendment — the wife 



4IO A Son of Old Harry. 

who was so proud of my fame that she would not have 
it smirched by my shame, and sought to hide her wrong 
that she might in part screen me from blame. For her 
sake, it shall be a foundation that will be of benefit to 
man. I had thought of choosing the horse as my ben- 
eficiary — he has been so linked with my destiny — but 
somehow I shrink from associating my father's name 
even with that noble beast, which has been the bless- 
ing as well as the bane of our family. It is my wish 
to re-establish the name in the esteem of men. I am 
not a philanthropist ; I do not much care for the poor 
and weak, but, after all, I love humanity. Why should 
I not leave my estate to benefit those whose commenda- 
tion I would secure ? Suppose I should endow an 
institution for the " Promotion of Human Progress," or, 
better still, " The Study of Methods of Human Better- 
ment?" 

" Why not ? I am sure the world can be made better, 
and that only collective human endeavor can improve 
present conditions. I do not know how it can be done. 
I have never studied such things, but I do not doubt 
that the world would be improved if the mere amassing 
of superabundant wealth was not regarded as the high- 
est test of ability and the only worthy aim of ambition. 
I think the world would be sweeter, too, if half the 
money and more than half the aspiration of the country 
were not absorbed in that wild game which we call 
speculation — gambling on the rise and fall of values 
which are not enhanced or depreciated by such action, 
and in which the speculator has no interest beyond the 
particular rise or fall on which he has staked his money. 

It seems proper that a fortune won on the " Exchange " 
should be devoted to the improvement of business 
methods and social conditions which that and kindred 



A Retrospect, 4 1 1 

institutions growing on the rank stock of our bloated 
civilization have done so much to debase. 

I never thought of it before, but perhaps this is the 
" call " for which I waited in my young days, and for 
which I have blushed so often in my later ones. Per- 
haps my " one talent " may do more good in this way 
than I could have performed in any other. I can see 
that only by such isolation from my fellows as I have 
known could I have been led to make such application 
of my wealth. I am sure it would please her, looking 
backward from the realms of joy, and that other, whom 
she has no doubt met ere this — she, too, will be glad that 
the name she cherished with such jealous care is not to 
be left entirely to dishonor. The thought pleases me 
and brings a strange content. I seem to see the frag- 
ments of a broken life joined into one not altogether 
discreditable existence — the past and future harmonized, 
and Fate made not a blind worker of mischance, but a 
beneficence which blesses when it seemed only to curse. 

It may seem a foolish notion, but John Howgood can 
afford to be foolish. A name that can make a piece of 
paper worth as much as his is proof even against the 
charge of eccentricity. When I think of its potency I am 
proud of this quaint synonym of humiliation and despair, 
and glad that it has power to wash away a part of the 
stain from that other name which I love, and leave it 
revered rather than accursed of man. To-morrow I 
will give the young lawyer the last instructions. 

Through the dull, inert limbs that lie outstretched 
upon the couch I feel the red mark of Old Harry burn- 
ing with that fierceness which always presages success. 
My life has not been as others forecast it, nor as I willed 
it, but as Fate decreed. I do not feel that I have been 
worse than most men and believe that I have been bet- 
ter than many. Of conscious eyil I have, perhaps, done 



412 A Soil of Old Harry. 

less and of unconscious wrong more than others. The 
hopes attaching to my early youth have been sadly 
blighted . I have been of little service to humanity ; in 
fact, I do not know that the world is any better, though 
perhaps, not much worse, for my having lived in it. I 
wonder if this is not the final outcome of most lives? 
Perhaps there may be those who would gladly cut off, 
as I have been compelled to do, the early life of val- 
orous achievements from the latter one of sordid use- 
lessness. 

One of the predictions touching the fate of the sons 
of Old Harry at least, has been literally fulfilled in 
my life. Ever since my baby-hands caressed a suck- 
ling's velvet muzzle, my life has been like a post-road 
with a change of nags at every stage. Some have been 
good ; some have been bad ; some have borne me exult- 
ingly on to joy, while others have dragged me down to 
shame. And now a span of the noblest have brought 
the end. Why not ? Fortune has come to me on 
horseback more than once ; why not Fate as well ? 
The son of Old Harry will not forget man's noblest 
servitor. He shall be the residuary of my grace. If 
man will not accept my bounty, the horse shall be its 
beneficiary. 

To those who have never tasted renown, I do not 
doubt that oblivion comes at last as a sweet solace for 
the woes of life. But to me the fact that I cannot claim 
the fame that Hubert Goodwin won is now so bitter a 
thought that no after-success brings consolation. If it 
were not that to do so would cast discredit upon her 
memory, I would even now throw off the mask of years 
and proclaim my identity. While she lived I did not 
mind it ; she was all — enough and more than enough. 
But now — the world is so empty — I am so alone — that 
the past stirs in my breast a vague but intense yearning 



A Retrospect. 413 

which compels me to con over its joys and suffer again, 
more acutely than ever before, its shame. 

Of the friends I have made here, very many are not 
exactly old comrades, but have an almost equally strong- 
bond of intertwined renown, in that they were our ene- 
mies. The soldier's fame is dependent almost as much 
upon the valor of those he meets in battle as upon his 
own prowess ; and these men were doughty foemen. 
They come and visit me, and to cheer the tedium of 
the lingering hours, tell me stories of the war. Some 
of them are true, some are fanciful. No matter ; the 
veteran has a right to multiply his perils and magnify 
his prowess. As for myself — I keep silence ; I dare not 
speak. 

Perhaps out of my shame some good may come to 
others. Somehow, good is always strangely linked with 
evil. Out of disease springs a more secure health ; out 
of danger comes safety ; out of wrong right is born. 
He that seeth the end from the beginning finds His 
highest glory in that He " maketh the wrath of man to 
praise Him." And I, who have so long defied the judg- 
ment of mankind, feel at length a strange yearning for 
approval. It seems as if I were hardly just to that love 
which pledged itself to me " forever and ever, amen," 
if I fail to do something to redeem it from obloquy ; 
and, surely, next to doing good oneself, is that spirit 
which gives the means of compassing the welfare of 
others. The past cannot be amended ; perhaps the 
future may be spared some ill. I do not claim to be a 
child of Theophilus, but I hope that one son of Old 
Harry may leave the world no worse for his having 
lived in it. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



"an hour of sun. 



A strange thing has happened. As I have said, the 
nurse, who was in the carriage with me, has been 
unremitting in her efforts to relieve the tedium of my 
situation. Between her and the young lawyer my rooms 
have been made quite gay. As soon as I was able to 
be moved, I arranged for the purchase of an old man- 
sion, standing in a splendid grove just on the outskirts 
of the city. The doctor has somewhat modified his pre- 
dictions and extended a little my life-limit. I should 
be almost sorry but for the life they have contrived 
to bring into its wide halls, lofty rooms and airy 
porches. It is a charming retreat in which to await the 
end. Wisterias and honeysuckles clamber about the 
porches and festoon the clustering oaks. Quaint juni- 
pers spread out upon the ground and show dark and 
columnar between the brown bolls. Evergreens shut 
out the street and screen the scanty herbage of the 
lawn, in the red soil of which innumerable bits of mica 
sparkle when the hot sun shines down through the leaves 
of the great oaks. Roses and flowering shrubs abound. 

The place caught the young lady's eye the first time 
she rode out after the accident. She was anxious I 
should go with her, but I have no fancy for being exhib- 
ited as a mark for pitying glances and pitiful remarks, 



"An Hour of Stm.''^ 415 

A man who has been a man would rather meet death 
than pity. She gave me a glowing description of it on 
her return. She was still using a crutch, and I remem- 
ber, as she stood by my chair while speaking, that one 
hand was full of flowers and the crutch was festooned 
with honeysuckle. The owner had been a wealthy man 
in the old times, she said. Gri'evously wounded in battle 
for the Confederacy, he had dragged out a useless, pain- 
ful life, dying but a short time before. When she told 
me his name, it was a familiar one. He was a cavalry 
officer with whom Hubert Goodwin had crossed swords 
more than once. The place was to be sold, being more 
expensive than the family could afford to maintain. 
Indeed, they had kept it hitherto solely for the father's 
sake that he might not feel the pain of exile from the 
home he loved. There were tears of sympathy in the 
nurse's eyes as she referred to this, but she smiled 
brightly when I told her that the roses with which she 
strove to hide the pitying drops were not fairer than 
those which shone upon her cheeks. 

They paled quickly, however, when I added that I 
would buy the place for her if she would stay and be its 
mistress and give me a room in it until the end. I had 
grown terribly afraid that she would leave me. Every 
day after I recovered consciousness she sent me a note, 
and as soon as she was able to leave her room had 
insisted on the servants bringing her in her chair to call 
upon me, and daily since then her sunny face had light- 
ened the monotony of my hopeless seclusion. She had 
talked to me, read to me, and, without seeming to do so, 
had assumed control of my surroundings, even before 
she was able to walk herself. 

As I said, her face grew pale when I proposed to buy 
for her this place whose charms had captivated her fancy, 
and she turned away and sat down as if faint. I reached 



4t6 a So 71 of Old Harry. 

toward the bell-cord that hung beside my reclining- 
chair, but her eyes caught the motion and she nodded 
disapproval. She did not look at me, however, but sat 
with her face turned toward the window, the long dark 
lashes falling regularly upon her cheeks and the heavy 
brows drooping over them, while her lips quivered as if 
under the influence of some profound emotion. I 
watched her silently. There was something very famil- 
iar about her look, yet I could not determine what it 
was. "When I came to think of it, I knew this was what 
had attracted me toward her from the very first. 

" It is the very -plsice— for you," she said, finally ; more 
to herself, it seemed, than to me. 

"And for you, too," I answered. " A single visit has 
made you almost well. I expect to see you lay aside 
your crutch after one more trip." 

She smiled at my banter, but still looked away from m^ 

" Yes ; I shall soon be well." 

She spoke as if it were a contingency not altogether 
pleasant. 

** And then you will leave me, I suppose," I said, pet- 
tishly. 

" I will stay with you — as long — as long as you 
desire." 

" You accept my offer, then ?" I asked, exultantly. 

" I cannot." 

" It is not enough ?" 

She shook her head. 

" Well, name your terms. You have become indis- 
pensable ; and, after all, it is only anticipating my pur- 
pose. I intended to leave you a — well, a considerable 
legacy." 

" I was so informed." 

" Indeed ?" 



"An Hour of Sun. 417 

" At least, Mr. Barclay intimated as much when he 
asked me to give him my full name," 

" Ah, yes ; I forgot. Did he tell you how much ?" 

" I did not ask him." 

" You had no curiosity on the subject, I suppose ?" 
sarcastically. 

" Not the least," decidedly. 

" You gave your name, all the same ?" with a shrug. 

" I did not." 

The deep blue eyes met mine with an angry flash. 

" No ? Why not ?" 

" Because I did not choose to do so." How proudly 
the head was raised upon the firm white neck. 

" I beg pardon," I said, full of admiration for her inde- 
pendence, but regretting bitterly that she had not been 
willing to trust my kind intent. I had sent her a check 
for a considerable amount, a few days after the accident, 
and she had returned it indorsed " Katherine Parks." 
My second attempt to compensate her for her kindness 
had been equally unsuccessful. " You said you would 
stay with me," I remonstrated ; " if you will not accept 
my terms, name your own. Don't be afraid of setting 
too high a price upon your services." 

" I am not," she answered, quietly. " I will stay with 
you as long as you desire — on two conditions." 

" What are they ?" 

" First, that you will not think of giving me any 
reward, present or prospective ; and, second, that you 
will not ask my real name." 

" But that would be unjust. You cannot afford — to 
— to serve for nothing." 

" And you have not money enough to hire my 
services," she said, rising and tucking her crutch under 
her arm. How charming she was as she turned her 
flushed face upon me, with a proud toss of the shapely 



4i8 A Son of Old Harry. 

head ! Yet I could not believe that she meant precisely, 
what she said. 

" You will put the terms in writing, I suppose ?" I 
asked, incredulously. 

She turned to the table and wrote out the conditions 
and handed them to me to read. 

" I would not ask a daughter to serve me on those 
conditions," I said, angrily. 

" You would not have her accept any other, would 
you ?" 

" Will you not be my daughter ?" I asked, impetuously, 
snatching the hand which held the paper, and looking 
up at her with an earnestness which only the fear of a 
lonely life could pardon. 

Then the strange thing happened. She stood a 
moment, her bosom heaving with suppressed sobs, then 
bent and kissed me — not once, but many times — turned 
and hurried away. I heard her crutch thumping along 
the uncarpeted hall. When I wiped my face, I found 
tears where her kisses had been. 

1 do not know when I have been so badly puzzled. I 
could have forgiven a mercenary motive, and was pre- 
pared to gratify any reasonable or unreasonable wish, 
for she is very agreeable and seems to understand, not 
my whims — for I do not think I am whimsical — but my 
moods. I do not like professional attendants, and 
would have been glad to persuade this cultivated girl, 
who has such an attractive individuality, to remain with 
me and be the chief beneficiary of my wealth. But 
why should she manifest affection or agitation ? 

The incident gave me a bad night, and when Miss 
Parks came to visit me the next morning, I thought 
there were traces of tears in her eyes. The hand she 
placed in the one I held out as a proffer of reconciliation 
was moist and tremulous. I did not say anything for 



''Alt Hour of Sun.'' 419 

some little time. In truth, I did not know what to say. 
The girl's presence embarrassed me greatly, despite 
the pleasure it gave. While she stood beside me she 
began to fondle my hair which, though white as snow, 
is still abundant. At first she touched it very lightly, 
as if putting portions of it in place. Her hand was 
unsteady, and it was evident that she was greatly 
excited. I could feel the crutch on which she leaned 
tremble. I was sitting in m}'- reclining-chair, but she 
stood so close to me on the left side, that I could not 
look up at her without considerable exertion. She did 
not speak. Presently she stooped and kissed my fore- 
head. I pushed her back by the hand I held, and 
gazed up into her face. God forgive me, I had for an 
instant the most infamous suspicions ! Eut when I 
looked into her eyes they fled away like shadows before 
the sunshine, and I was ashamed that I had ever felt 
them. There was indeed a blush upon her cheeks, but 
it was childlike in its innocence, and the smile with 
which she looked down upon me was that of purity 
itself. 

" Why did you do that ?" I asked. 

"Because I wished to," she replied. " Does it annoy 
you ?" 

Of course, it did not annoy me — for myself, that is, 
but it troubled me greatly for her sake. Suppose 
another should witness her caresses, what would be 
said of her ? The very thought sent a shiver of agony 
through my veins. But I could not tell her that. 

" I wish you were my daughter." 

" I am afraid you would find me very troublesome," 
archly. 

She sat down upon the arm of my chair, familiarly 
holding the crutch upright with her left hand, leaving 



420 A Son of Old Harry. 

the right still in mine. It betrayed no agitation now, 
and her look was one of calm content. 

" Why not allow me to regard you as such ?" I asked, 
tenderly. 

"I have never objected." 

" Then why not accept my name and let me announce 
you as my daughter ?" 

'* Because I prefer my own name." 

" Yet you say the one you bear is not yours ?" 

** Not the whole of it ; when I — came to live with 
you, I thought it might be better to drop part of it. I 
did not like to seem to be other than I was, however, 
and so told her the whole truth a few days afterwards." 

It is singular that we always allude to the loved dead 
as " her "or " she," and not by any name. I do not 
know why it is — I merely note the fact. Upon looking 
back I find that I have always done so, since I became 
aware of that other consciousness that once possessed 
her. I seldom called her Dee, even during her life. 
Somehow, I do not think she ever became quite the old 
Dee to me. I called her " dear ;" never, unless neces- 
sary, addressing her as my wife. There was no reason 
for this, except that, having become accustomed to think 
of another as bearing that relation to me, it seemed 
unnatural to apply the title to her. I wonder, now, if 
she ever noticed it. 

" What did she say ?" I asked, after a moment. 

" She wished me to remain with you." 

*' And she urged me to regard you as a daughter," I 
answered in surprise. 

" She was very kind," simply. 

" Yet she did not tell me your name." 

There was no reply. 

" Did she know your — your people ?" 

** My people ?" 



*' An Hour of Sun" 421 

" Yes — your father and mother ? — your mother is dead, 
I believe ?" 

Somehow I had gotten the impression that the mourn- 
ing she wore was for her mother. She bowed her head 
and I saw, by the trembling lips and the tears that ran 
over the quivering lids, that the wound was still 
unhealed. 

" There, there !" I said, soothingly. " Don't grieve. 
Why not let me arrange everything for you ?" 

" I thought everything was arranged," she answered, 
simply. 

" How ?" 

" That I was to remain as your daughter as long as 
you desired." 

" Suppose you should choose to go away ?" 

*' There is no danger," 

" You might wish to marry ?" 

' Then I will ask your permission." 

" And if I do not choose to grant it ?" 

" Then I will not marry !" with an archness that 
showed she was at least sincere. 

" You are very dutiful." 

*' I shall try to be." 

" I suppose you would do this if I were a poor man, 
instead of a rich one ?" I said after a moment, lightly 
patting the hand which still lay in mine. 

" I think so — why not ?" 

" Yet you are not sorry that I am rich ?" 

" I am very glad of it — because you can afford all the 
comforts you require." 

" And you do not object to sharing them with me ?" 

" I shall be happy to do so — if it will give you pleas- 
ure." 

A servant brought me a card just then, and she went 
to her apartment. It was young Barclay, the lawyer 



42 2 A Son of Old Harry. 

who had been at work, under my direction, getting my 
affairs in shape for final disposition. At least, that is 
what he thinks he has been doing. Really he has only 
been getting acquainted with my business, 

I gave him instructions as to the purchase of the house, 
directing him to make no question about price, but to 
pay what the owners saw fit to ask, within reason, of 
course, and give Miss Parks carte blanche in repairing and 
furnishing it. He seemed a little surprised at this, biit 
when I told him that I designed the place for her after 
I should be through with it, he offered no objection. 

The young lady showed unusual energy in the work 
intrusted to her, and displayed an unexpected readiness 
and capacity in the application of considerable sums of 
money, always, so far as I could learn from Mr. Barclay 
— for it was agreed that I should not visit the premises 
until all was completed — with the very best results. 
After a few weeks the work was so far advanced that 
the house was pronounced habitable, and preparations 
were made for my removal. The nurse had long since 
dispensed with her crutch; I think 1 never saw a woman 
who made so light of such a serious injury. She had 
been busy and, I judged, very happy — she and the 
young lawyer. I had a couple of horses brought from 
Tete de Loup for their use, along with a span to replace 
those which were lost at the time of the mishap. 
The mare I gave to her has the white crest and silken 
tail of Gray Eagle, and the white spot above the hoof 
which is the mark of old Diomed's favorites among his 
progency. A good many have spoken of the resem- 
blance between it and a horse ridden by a young " Yan- 
kee " cavalry officer during the war. The young lady 
was delighted with the present I had chosen for her ; 
kissed me, and called me " dear papa " without any 
affectation — quite as a daughter might have done. It 



" A71 Hotir of Sun'^ 423 

was in the presence of Mr, Barclay, too, who looked 
surprised, and I thought a little envious also. Of 
course, they met often in preparing the new place. 
They rode together a good deal, too, for she is a fine 
horsewoman, as I have seen from my window when they 
ride away and she tosses me back a kiss from her 
gloved fingers. 

I suspected a bit of romance between them then, but 
had no wish to interfere. Why should there not be ? 
Love is all there is of life worth knowing, and they are 
a fine couple — both splendid types. I wondered, some- 
times, it they would not take my old name when they 
came to wed if I should put John Howgood's fortune 
with it ? They would not be Goodwins indeed, but it 
would be pleasant to re-establish the old name, if not the 
old line. The Goodwins were well enough in their 
queer Yankee way, but there would be no fear of the 
old marked heel in the new stock, and that at least 
would b~ an advantage. I used to dream of these 
things before I had determined what I would do with 
m}' fortune. It was very pleasant to note the pretty 
confidence which grew up between the young people. 
They were often with me, and I thought she petted me 
the more when he was present, because she dared not 
pet him. Perhaps I was mistaken. 

The morning after I had solved the problem of my 
life — which, after all, does not seem much of a problem 
now — I awoke feeling better than I had at any time 
since the accident. The terrible burden which had 
rested on the base of the brain so long seemed rolled 
away, and the prickling thrill, which had accompanied 
the loss of sensation and of power, once more pulsed 
through my limbs — especially the left — and I felt 
the steady, continuous glow of Old Harry's mark 
with infinite content. The doctor came before Johnson 



424 A Soil of Old Harry. 

had completed his morning duties. He found him rub- 
bing the limb, and incidentally remarked upon the sin- 
gular character of the mark upon my heel. I told him 
it was a family inheritance and related the tradition 
concerning it. 

"Yes!" he said, absently. "I think I have seen it 
before — on another, I mean." 

He looked at me keenly as he spoke. I did not ask 
him where ; the old fear was upon me. So 1 said, 
cynically enough : 

" You should hunt up the case, and be ready to 
testify. There are not a great many Howgoods in the 
world, and such a fact might be very valuable after my 
death." 

'* From present appearances there is not much pros- 
pect of a chance for one to profit by my discovery," he 
rejoined, significantly. 

I looked at him inquiringly. 

** It seems as if you were getting better," he explained, 
with a smile. 

Then he gave me a very careful examination. 

" It is always a little humiliating," he said, after his 
scrutiny was completed, " for a physician to have to 
revise his verdict. No man likes to see his prophesies 
fail — especially no scientist. I am afraid, however, that 
I shall have to extend your time-limit a little. It looks 
as though you might recover comfort, if not strength. 
Of course, the odds are still with the former diagnosis ; 
for any, even the slightest thing, may verify it in an 
hour ; but it does look as if you might have some 
months at least of enjoyable life, if you are very careful 
and your mind is kept quite free from anxiety." 

" Well," I said, smiling, *' I have nothing more to worry 
about. My will will be ready to sign at three o'clock, 
and I am to be moved out to the new place to-night." 



"An Hour of Sicil' 425 

" And I am going to take the entire charge of him," 
said the pretty nurse, catching the last words as she 
entered. 

'* Ah, then !" exclaimed the doctor, extending his 
hand and shaking his head in mock confusion. " Then, 
there is nothing left for me. I can only send in my 
bill." 

He went off amid the laughter that followed. After 
a while Mr. Barclay came, and I told him what dispos- 
ition I had determined to make of my estate. The 
young lady, who was sitting on the arm of my chair, 
seemed much affected at this statement, and went and 
stood by the window until it was completed. I could 
hear her weeping softly. When I had concluded, she 
came and kissed me with tremulous lips. 

** It was a curious thing," said the lawyer, meditatively, 
after he had finished his notes and read them over to 
me. 

" What ?" I asked, sharply. 

'* About this General Goodwin to whose heirs you 
wish to leave your estate — " 

" You have heard of him, then ?" I interrupted, sneer- 
ingly. 

** Heard of him ! Everybody has heard of him ; but 
I am almost a relative." 

" A relative ?" exclaimed the young lady, her cheek 
growing pale. 

Again I became suspicious of her. Was she a mere 
mercenary adventuress, after all ? I watched her closely 
as the lawyer made reply : 

*' Well, no ; not a relative, of course ; though I feel 
almost akin to him. I was named after him, you see. 
My father knew him when a boy, and was afterward 
under his command — on his staff, indeed — and never got 
over his love for him." 



426 A Son of Old Hai'ry. 

" And your father was — " 

" Captain Christopher Barclay," answered the young 
man, proudly, "He always insisted that the young 
General was not so much to blame for the act that cast 
discredit upon his name as people claimed. He said he 
was never exactly himself after a wound received at 
Stone River ; and when I was bom, soon after the war, 
he gave me his name — Hubert Goodwin Barclay. I 
think the censure he received for this, among his old 
neighbors, was the chief reason why he removed to this 
part of the country ; though, I suppose, my mother's 
death, which occurred at my birth, made the old home 
distasteful to him. He died a few years ago ; but I 
naturally inherited his reverence for a man who, it is 
now generally admitted, must have been acting under 
some mental distemper. I am glad you are going to 
do this to redeem his fame." 

** Under mental distemper !" I repeated, looking from 
one to the other in amazement. " Can it be ? Are we 
all crazy ?" I asked, in confusion. 

" There ! There !" said the nurse, coming quickly to 
my side, ** This will not do. You are having too much 
excitement. You must go away at once," she said, turn- 
ing to the lawyer, pleadingly. 

" You will have it ready at three," I said. 

" Very well," he answered. " And the witnesses ?" 

" Bring three or four of the most prominent of my 
friends." 

The will was signed, but the nurse insisted that it 
would be too much for me to be taken to the new abode 
that day ; so the flitting was put oflf until the morrow. 



CHAPTER IX. 

A QUIET GLOAMING. 

It was arranged that I should be removed from the 
hotel In the evening-, so as to avoid the curiosity of loi- 
terers, to which I am, perhaps, unnecessarily sensitive. 
The house and grounds were lighted upon our arrival, ■ 
and when I had rested for a moment in my reclining- 
chair upon the wide porch, and looked around, I fully 
indorsed all that I had heard of the beauty of the place 
which had been chosen as my last retreat, and was fully 
prepared for what the daylight might reveal. 

There was a strange home-likeness about the prem- 
ises for which I could not account. Much of the furni- 
ture seemed familiar, though I could not recall where I 
had seen it. As I was wheeled from room to room, this 
sense of familiarity grew upon me until it almost 
seemed as if I had lived in the house' before. Especi- 
ally was this true of the room set apart for my especial 
use. I supposed it to be the result of frequent conver- 
sations with the fair purveyor of my comfort, for whose 
thoughtfulness my admiration increased with every 
step in this tour of inspection. 

In a sense, I was, however, disappointed. The one 
thing that had not ceased to puzzle me about her was 
the motive inspiring her devotion. I had long since 
abandoned the idea of any sinister purpose. In her 
absence it was impossible to account for her conduct on 



428 A Son of Old Harry. 

any other hypothesis ; but in her presence it was equally 
impossible to entertain it for a moment. There was 
something in her manner — something of freedom, 
unrestraint and confidence — totally unlike anything I 
had ever known, which was yet especially soothing and 
agreeable. I felt sure that this was, in some way, the 
key to her motive, or perhaps that her motive, when 
discovered, would prove a sufficient key to her conduct. 
This secret I had expected somehow to siirprise in my 
examination of the house, and I was disappointed that 
I did not. Not that I wished to pry into anything she 
desired to keep from me, but, for the mere pleasure of 
discovery, I would have liked to surprise this secret. 

When we had visited all the other rooms upon the 
ground floor and I had scrutinized and commended 
everything while she hovered, flushed and gratified, 
about my chair, calling attention to this and that which 
she was afraid would escape my notice, we came finally 
to the two rooms upon the left of the wide hall which 
had been prepared for our especial use. I will not 
attempt to describe them. How had she learned my 
tastes so well ? They were spacious rooms. Mine 
opened by two broad windows on the porch ; hers 
looked upon a bower of roses in the rear. The one was 
a man's room — the walls lined with books and prints, 
strong, manly pictures of sport and battle with touching 
contrast of nature and affection — a cavalry charge and 
a wife bidding her husband adieu before mounting 
the scaffold. Over it all, too, was something of that 
carelessness and incongruity which is the very essence 
of the masculine idea of comfort. On the mantel was 
a silver-mounted hoof of Abdallah ; on the desk, already 
open to my hand, the soiled, grim, writing-case on 
which these pages have been traced. She had had it 
brought from the hotel that it might be here to 



A Quiet Gloaming. 429 

strengthen the sense of accustomedness I already 
felt. 

"And this," she said, passing through a curtained 
arch, " is my room. There is a door here that shuts 
with a touch and almost noiselessly, being hung on 
rubber rollers, but I thought these double curtains 
would usually be better. I shall be always near, you 
see, and will hear if you speak even in a whisper. I 
have taken you at your word, and made my room just 
as pretty as I thought you would wish a daughter's to be." 

She watched me narrowly as my eye went from one 
to another of its pretty details. It was a girl's room — 
light in shade, pure in tone, somewhat lacking in adorn- 
ment — its flushed and expectant mistress its chief orna- 
ment. I did not think I could ever again feel grateful 
for a woman's ministrations, but I think some tears 
escaped my lids in spite of myself, in recognition of this 
fair girl's tenderness. 

When we turned back into my room, I asked about 
some pictures which were so heavily draped, that it was 
impossible to detect their character. 

" No," she said, in her pretty, imperious way. " You 
are not to see anything more to-night. I am afraid you 
have had too much excitement already. Now you must 
go to bed, and then I will play to you until you fall 
asleep. I had a piano put in my room on purpose for 
that ; you can hear it without being annoyed by the 
performer's presence." 

I obeyed without protest. She kissed me, and left 
me to the ministrations of the deft-handed colored man 
who had long been my attendant. After he had with- 
drawn, low, soft strains came from beyond the closed 
curtains. They were very soothing. Though not a 
musician, I think every one is, to a greater or less extent 
susceptible to the influence of harmony. My life had 



430 A Son of Old Harry. 

been singularly barren of such experience. She had 
been what was termed an accomplished musician in 
the old days. I do not think she had any great love for 
music, but her indomitable perseverance had made her, 
as I judge, a mechanically expert player. At least, her 
music never moved me. When she awoke after her 
long night she had not only forgotten her skill, but had 
an actual aversion to musical" sounds ; they seemed to 
have a disturbing, unsettling effect upon her. The 
other — Kitty — had numbered among her attractions an 
unusual musical gift. As I dropped off into uncon- 
sciousness I dreamed of her, and thought I was listening 
to the airs she was accustomed to play. 

The change from the noise and heat of the hotel, 
which had constantly increased with the advancing 
season, was very grateful. I was dimly conscious, once 
or twice, during the night, of another's presence in the 
room, but made no sign. It was very pleasant to listen 
to the cicadas in the oaks without, catch the fragrance 
of the roses, and feel that one so thoughtful and tender 
was watching over my slumber. After all, it is not so 
bad to be dead in the midst of life, if the life is only 
mindful of you. 

In the morning I saw iYiQ portiere that hung across the 
door leading to her room move a little, and knew that 
she was listening to learn whether I were awake. It 
was still almost dark in the shaded room, but I knew 
from the bird-chorus without that the dawn had come. 
So I called out cheerily : 

" Come in, daughter." 

" In a moment, papa," came the ready response in a 
voice as sweet and contented as the bird-song to which 
I had been listening. 

In a few minutes she glided into the room, wearing a 
morning-gown of some soft stuff which trailed noise- 



\ A Quiet Gloaming. 431 

A 1 

lessly behind her. She buttoned it at the throat, where 
a bit of white showed, as she passed through the room 
to open the blinds and let in the soft morning light. 
The dew was yet dripping from the glistening oak- 
leaves. She drew aside the curtain that I might look 
out. The view of the lawn from my window was 
enchanting. Flowers and verdure, and over all the 
still morning light. Even the bees had not begun their 
day's labor. I turned my eyes from this to the beam- 
ing face which waited for my verdict. It was a morn- 
ing face, bright with the light of the coming day. The 
abundant brown hair was looped hastily back, stray 
tresses here and there telling of the night's disorder. 
The soft, warm-tinted gown fell about the lithe figure, 
revealing its graceful outlines. I extended my hands. 
She came and put her own in them, her face beaming 
rapturously. 

" My daughter ! — my more than daughter !" I 
exclaimed. " Why are you so kind to me ?" 

" You will not be angry with me ?" 

" How could I ?" 

" You will not send me away ?" 

" I am only too fearful you will go." 

" You will find it hard to get rid of me," she rejoined, 
with that arch look which always enchanted me. What 
was the resemblance that haunted me ? 

** Who are you ?" 1 asked at length in puzzled desper- 
ation. 

She laughed softly. 

" Can you not guess ?" 

I put her off at arm's length and scanned her features 
again in the cool white light. She put back her hair 
above her ear and stood immobile as a statute, only 
glancing down at me under her dark brows. Again 



432 A Son of Old Ha7'ry. 

that puzzling resemblance ; but I shook my head 
despairingly. She seemed disappointed. 

Slightly lifting her skirt, she laid a dainty foot on a 
low hassock by the bedside and pointing to it, exciaimed : 

" Do you know that ?" 

I could hardly believe my eyes. Clearly traced upon 
the soft white heel was the red, fateful mark of Old 
Harry's offspring. 

" My God !" I exclaimed. " It cannot be i" 

" Oh, it is genuine !" she answered, with a glow of 
modest pride upon her smiling face. ' See for your- 
self." 

She placed the foot upon the counterpane beside me, 
and I took it in my hand. There could he no doubt 
about it ; the blood-red spur showed bright and hot 
upon the heel and was securely joined above the instep. 

" But you — no woman ever had that mark !" I 
exclaimed. 

*' I suppose there were no more boys to wear it," she 
answered, laughingly, as she returned her foot to the 
slipper. 

" But — but — who are you — anyhow ?" 

She turned impatiently and pulled a cord drawing 
aside the curtain which hung before two pictures at the 
foot of my bed. They were portraits of Hubert Good- 
win and Kitty, his wife. I recognized them at once ; 
they had been painted by a distinguished artist 
immediately after my return from the service. 

" Thiey were my parents," she said, quietly. 

" But you — you — " I stammered. 
" You did not know you had a daughter T 
I shook my head. 

" Are you sorry ?" archly. 

" I do not know. Your name is — ?" 

" Katherine Parker Goodwin," proudly. 



A Quiet Gloaming. 433 

" After your motHer," dreamily. 

" Don't you think I look like her ?" glancing at the 
portrait. 

There was no denying the resemblance. Yet she 
was a Goodwin, too. 

** And she — is — ?" The words choked me. I could 
not ask the question. 

Her eyes fell. I was answered. When she lifted 
them there were tears upon the lashes. Yet I could not 
understand what had happened. The mind will be dull 
when the body is half dead. 

" How did you know that — that I was alive ?" 

" My mother found you. She never believed you 
dead. She traced you by the horse," 

" The horse ? What— Damon ?" 

" Of course." 

" Ah ! I see. She knew then—" 

" She knew — everything," solemnly. 

" But you ? — How did you come to — to — ?" 

" To be here ? It was my mother's wish — her dying 
wish, /would never have come — never have spoken, 
but for that, I hated you ! I hated her, too ! But I 
promised my mother, when she told me ihe whole story, 
just before she died, that if you ever needed me — needed 
care, you know — or if there ever came a chance for me to 
reveal myself without humiliation — I would do as she 
wished. When I saw your advertisement for a companion 
for — for her — a few months afterward, I thought that was 
my chance — and — and you know the rest." 

" You say you told her ?" 

" Everything." 

" And she—?" 

" She begged me to remain with you — unless you 
should send me away." 

" And you promised her ?" 



434 ^ "^^^^ ^f ^^^^ Harry. 

" I promised to — to do what should seem right." 

I could not understand it all. My brain seemed so 
very dull. 

" Why did not your mother let — let me — let me know 
I had a child ?" I asked at length, in desperation. 

" She supposed you did know it," was the quiet 
answer. 

" She must have thought me a — a precious scoun- 
drel ?" 

" She would never hear a word against you — even 
from your mother. She thought it was the old wound, 
you know. Besides, she said there was no way for you 
to undo the wrong after it was once committed." 

" Was she very — very unhappy ?" 

" She was not happy — not as she might have been, 
that is ; but I think she grieved more than anything 
else for the odium you had brought upon yourself." 

** If she had only come to me — and — and," I began, 
petulantly. 

" Do you think the Goodwins are the only people 
who have any pride ?" she interrupted, with an impa- 
tient frown. 

" Pride ? That is true. She must have hated me 
bitterly." 

" Or loved you very foolishly !" was the tart response. 

She was patting the floor impatiently with her foot, 
and I knew the red mark upon her heel was burning 
hot with anger. All at once she burst into tears. 

" If you knew," she exclaimed, " how my mother 
watched for you and prayed for you — yes, and taught 
me to pray for you — how she forgave you, and even 
forgave the woman who enjoyed the love which 
belonged to her — you would not think so poorly of her." 

What a perfect Goodwin she was in her stormy 
wrath ! 



A Qiuet Gloa77iing. 435 

" But I — I never thought poorly of her," I said, hold- 
ing out my hand — " only of myself, dear, that I was so 
weak — so weak and blind !" 

" I don't think she blamed — at least, she excused you, 
sir," she said, coming shyly to my side, and putting her 
hand in mine. 

What a strange feeling it was to think that the soft, 
warm hand was that of my child — no, not my child — her 
mother's child ! I had never been a father to her. I 
had not watched her infancy — directed her childhood — 
known her life. She had come to me full-grown — fair, 
enchanting — but not my child — only a daughter, having 
her own life and stooping to me in complaisance — not 
in duty. We were strangers except for a few months' 
acquaintance. The thought made me very humble — 
with the saddest of all humility — that which a parent 
feels toward the offspring he has wronged. 

" I hope you — she, that is — did not suffer any — were 
not at any time — in want ?" 

The question broke the ice of constraint between us. 

" Did you think you were the only one who knew how 
to make money ?" she laughed. " I think poor mamma 
would have given almost as much to have had you know 
how well she succeeded with what you left her as to 
have you acknowledge that you had done her wrong. 
That was one reason she wanted me to make myself 
known to you. Oh, no ! We were not poor ! Did you 
think the Mrs. John Goodwin of whom you bought your 
house on the avenue was a pauper ?" 

It is impossible to describe the regal pride of her 
manner and the exultant tones of her voice as she 
uttered these words, or the amazement with which I 
heard them. The wife whom I had so thoughtlessly 
abandoned would not lay aside my name, and instead 



436 A Son of Old Harry. 

of regarding me with resentfulness, had made excuse 
for my conduct and jealously guarded my honor. 

" Did you think," she continued, *' because you were 
blind that nobody could see? Or that old Sir Harry 
would desert one who- had his mark, just because she 
was a girl ? Mamma told me all about it, and I have 
seen her laugh a hundred times when she has met you 
face to face and you did not recognize her. Oh, it was 
too funny ! Because you had your head in a bush, you 
fancied nobody knew you !" 

" Why — how should they ?" I asked, in alarm. 

" How should they ? Do you think any one can see 
your signature in that peculiar, undershaded back- 
hand, and fail to note its resemblance to the hand- 
writing of General Hubert Goodwin? I have heard 
more than one speak of it even here." 

" I see — but you do not think that — that they suspect 
— anything !" 

" I don't know, I am sure. What if they do ?" 

" But would you — would it not embarrass you ?" 

" I think if I am willing to overlook the past no one 
else will regard it as inexcusable. I am going to let it 
be known that I am Hubert Goodwin's daughter — and 
— that you are my father !" 

I trembled at what the revelation might involve for 
me, but could not help being proud of her. How like 
her mother she was in simple directness and unshrink- 
ing courage ! 

All at once a thought struck me. 

" Kitty," I said, hoarsely, giving her instinctively the 
diminutive by which I had always designated her 
mother, " did your mother — was she ever at Tete de 
Loup ?" 

*• I think so ; at least, she seemed to know all that 
happened there." 



A Quiet Gloaming. 437 

Then the tide of humiliation swept clean over me. I 
saw it all then, and knew how utterly weak and selfish 
I had been in comparison with her. 

" Go ! Go !" I cried, in an agony of shame. " Leave 
me — a little while — a little while !" 

The sun had long since risen when I called her back. 
She clasped my outstretched hands and lavished upon 
me the sweet endearments only a daughter can bestow. 
The struggle was over, and I was content to submit to 
her direction. Why should T not ? What right had I 
to object ? If the world chose to guess the truth, let 
them do it, but we could oflEer no apology. I recog- 
nized the correctness of her view, and for the first time 
in all those long years was quite relieved of fear. 

" And you are my daughter ?" I said, banteringly, as I 
stroked the beautiful hand, pushing her off at arm's 
length and looking at her with that anxious criticism 
which only one in my position could ever feel. " What 
shall I do with such a fair responsibility ?" 

" I guess you could — you might dispose of me — if you 
are anxious to do so," she replied, mischievously. 

" Dispose of you — how ?" 

" Well, I thought it just possible, you know — that — 
that Mr. Barclay — " 

" Barclay ! The rascal ! But it is too late ; I see 
that !" 

A deep blush had leaped up into her face before she 
could hide it on my shoulder. It was too late, but I do 
not mind. And if there is a boy and he has the mark 
of Old Harry, as I hope he will, he is to take the name 
of Goodwin, and will, no doubt, be as proud and head- 
strong as his forbears. I trust he will be as honest 
and as tender in purpose, too, even if he should be as 
foolish, also. 

But the money will go to the Institute, just the same 



438 A Son of Old Harry. 

— the bulk of it, at least ; for the children of Old Sir 
Harry must always shift for themselves. They are too 
strong to be pampered with idleness and too weak to 
be exposed to temptation. I will not curse them with 
my gains nor unman them with my regrets. 

The days are very sweet ; but I know they will not 
be many. Joy is as fell a consumer of life as sorrow. 
The thrill that indicated hope of reprieve has departed. 
The limbs are again leaden. The double-life and the 
half-life are both drawing to a close. Neither seems so 
very strange now that I see another life coming on to 
take its place, and hide in the dawn of hope the shadows 
of retrospection. So the rising sun screens the ghastly 
pallor of the waning moon. Death loses its terrors in 
the rosy glow of coming life. 



The End. 



BERYL'S HUSBAND. 

BY 

Mrs. Harriet Lewis. 

Author of **Lady Kildare," "Sundered Hearts^'' " Hef 
Double Li/ey'* eic. 

WITS NUMESOUa tUI^PAQX ZZLVSTSATIOITB ST A A. TSAVBS. 

Paiper Cover, 50 cents. Bound in Cloth, $1.00. 



A very charming story. It opens on the shores of Lake Leman, 
in the romantic city of Geneva, under the shadow of Mont Blanc. 
A young English girl, who has been educated at a boarding- 
school at Vevay, is suddenly left without natural guardians and 
means of support. Her beauty and interesting character attract 
a young English traveller, who induces her to run away with him 
and marry him. This is the beginning of a romantic novel of 
extraordinary vicissitudes and adventures. To give an analysis 
of the plot and situations would mar the interest of the reader. 
It is sufficient to say that it is equal to the best of Mrs. Lewis's 
novels, not excepting "Her Double Life" and "Lady Kildare." 

For sale by all booksellers and newsdealers, or sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, 
Cor. William and Spruce Streets, New York. 



THE CARLETONS. 



BY 



Robert Grant, 

Author of ** Mrs. Harold Stagg" " Confessions of a Frivolous 
Girl" etc. 

ILLVBTBATED BY WILBOS DE MEZA. 



12ino. 309 Paflres. Ulustrated. Handsomely Bound in Oloth, 
Price, $1.00. Paper Cover, 50 Cents. 



In " The Carletons " Mr. Grant has given his admirers a fresh 
and delightful novel. It is a New England story and the char- 
acters are truthfully drawn. Boston is the scene of the principal 
transactions, although the story opens in a neighboring suburban 
town. The charm of the story is in the humorous delineation of 
New England family life. The children are interesting, and 
when they grow up into men and women, as they do in the 
progress of the story, they are more interesting and charming, 
and the reader takes a deep and abiding interest in their history 
to the close. Mr. Grant's amusing and refreshing humor lights 
up every page of the book. 

For sale by all booksellers and newsdealers, or sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, 
Cor. William and Spruce Streets, New York. 



EUGENIE GRANDET. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF 



HoNORE De Balzac 



WITM ILLUSTBATI0X8 BT JAMES FAGAIT, 



ISiuo. Bound in Oloth, $1.00. Paper Cover, 60 Oents. 



"Eugenie Grandet" is one of the greatest of novels. It is the 
history of a good woman. Every student of French is familiar 
with it, and an opportunity is now afforded to read it in a good 
English translation. The lesson of the book is the hideousness 
of the passion of the miser. Eugenie's father is possessed by it 
in a degree of intensity probably unknown in America, and to 
our public it will come as a revelation. What terrible suffering 
he inflicts upon his family by his ferocious economy and unscru- 
pulousness only Balzac's matchless narrative could show. The 
beautiful nature of Eugenie shines like a meteor against the black 
background, and her self-sacrifice, her sufferings and her superb 
strength of character are wrought out, and the story brought to a 
climax, with the finest intellectual and literary power and dis- 
crimination. 

For sale by all booksellers and newsdealers, or sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, 
Cor. William and Spruce Streets, New York. 



_..>^ 



An Insignificant Woman. 

% j9torj) of :2lrti0t l\k. 

BY 

W. Heimburg. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN 

By MARY STUART SMITH. 

WITM ILZVBTBATION8 BY WARBSN B. DAVIS. 

12mo. Beautifally Ulastrated. Handsomely Botmd in Cloth, 
Price, $1.00. Paper Cover, 60 Cents. 



This is a matchless story. It is a vindication of woman. It 
ends finely, so as to bring out beautifully the glorious character 
of the heroine, the insignificant woman. The combination of 
the artistic and practical in this story makes it peculiarly suited 
to the taste of our times. It is impossible to imagine more 
beautiful and effective lessons of magnanimity and forbearance, 
strength and gentleness, than are inculcated in this novel. 
Every woman who lives for her children, her husband and her 
home will find her heart mirrored in the pages of this fascinating 
story. It is told in a manner that must please all readers, and is 
exquisitely rendered in the translation. 

For sale by all booksellers and newsdealers, or sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, 
Cor. William and Spruce Streets, New York. 



The Breach of Custom. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN 



BY 

Mrs. D. M. Lowrey 



WITB CBOICE ILLU8TBATIONS ST O. W. SIMONS. 



Paper Cover, 50 Cents. Bound Volume, $1.00. 



This is a translarion of an interesting and beautiful German 
Jiovel, introducing an artist and his family, and dealing with the 
most pathetic circumstances and situations. The heroine is an 
ideal character. Her self-sacrifice is noble and exalted, and the 
influence which radiates from her is pure and ennobling. Every 
one who reads this book will feel that it is one which will be a 
life influence. Few German stories have more movement or are 
more interesting. There are great variety and charm in the 
characters and situations. 

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of 
price by 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, Publishers, 

182 William Street, New York. 



THE NORTHERN LIGHT. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF 



E. WERNER, 



BY 

Mrs. D. M. Lowrey. 



12ino. 873 Pag«s. Handsomely Bound in Cloth, Price, $1.00. 
Paper Cover, 60 Cents. 



Since the death of the author of "Old Ma'mselle's Secret," 
Werner is the most popular of living German writers. Her 
novels are written with great literary ability, and possess the 
charm of varied character, incident and scenery. *' The Northern 
Light " is one of her most characteristic stories. The heroine is 
a woman of great beauty and strength of individuality. No less 
interesting is the young poet who, from beginning to end, con- 
stantly piques the curiosity of the reader. 

For sale by all booksellers, or sent, postpaid, on receipt of 
price, by 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, PubUshers, ' 
Cor. William and Sprucs Streets, N«w York. 



A New Novel by the Author of «« Under Oath.'* 



JOHN WINTHROP'S DEFEAT. 

BY JEAN KATE LUDLUM. 

ILLUSTRATED BY VICTOR PERARD. 



12iuo. Beautifully Illustrated. Handsomely Bound in Cloth, 
Price, $1.00. Paper Cover, 50 Cents. 



Miss Ludlum's new novel is her best. It is a delightful story 
of life at the famous seaside summer resort on Fire Island, and 
presents a pleasing picture of the gayety and frivolity that reign 
during the heated term in American watering places. There is 
an interesting romance growing out of the vicissitudes of Wall 
Street speculation and the complications of fashionable society. 
The heart of a true woman beneath the silks and laces proves 
stronger than any change that outward fortune brings in the 
circumstances of her life, and she triumphs over every depression. 
There is an abundance of incident, and the scene of the story 
ranges from New York to California, and from Paris to Florence. 
The illustrations add much to the beauty of the book. 

For sale by all booksellers and newsdealers, or sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, 
Coji. William and Spruce Streets, N«w York. 



WIFE AND WOMAN; 

OR, 

A TANGLED SKEIN. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF 

L. Haidheim. 

By MARY J. SAFFORD. 

tVITJI ILLVSTICATJONS ST r. A. CAETSR. 



12]no. Beautifully Uliistrated. Handsomely Bound in Cloth, 
Price, $1.00. Paper Cover, 50 Cents. 



"A thoroughly good society novel." This is the verdict of a 
bright woman after reading this story. It belongs to the Marlitt 
school of society novels, and the author is a favored contributor 
to the best periodicals of Germany. It has a good plot, an 
abundance of incident, very well drawn characters and a good 
ending. There is no more delightful story for a summer holiday. 

For sale by all booksellers and newsdealers, or sent, postpaid, 
on receipt of price, by the publishers, 

ROBERT BONNER'S SONS, 
Cor. William and Spruce Streets, New York 



pm 



RARE BOOK 
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